Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

August 19, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

Memorial Feast:  Saint John Eudes, Priest (1601-1680) – Patron of Missionaries

Book of the Prophet Ezekiel 34:1-11

Psalm 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6

Matthew 20:1-16

 

Today’s readings paint some interesting pictures.  One threatening, one reassuring and one confusing.  In Ezekiel, God is angry with the religious leaders who have been poor shepherds of God’s children.  They have ignored the sheep and simply looked out for their own needs.  The Lord tells them that they will be held accountable for their actions and that He personally will search for His sheep and look after them. 

Our Psalm today is one of the best loved and reassuring texts in all of Sacred Scripture.  “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”  The Lord is our guide, our leader, our protector and our shepherd.  The Lord will take care of us forever

Finally, there is the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew in which we may find confusing and contrary to what the world teaches and is yet incredibly convicting.  I once read a survey which revealed that the majority of Christians believe that reciting “the Lord helps those who help themselves” comes directly from the Holy Bible.  Well, today’s parable certainly shoots that idea down.  The workers who start in the morning and the workers who start in the evening receive the same day’s pay.  How unfair!  Or is it?

There is a story of a death row inmate whose execution date was rapidly approaching.  The media interviewed this man in which he professed his faith and belief in Jesus Christ.  Some of the reporters laughed with one saying, Yeah, its crunch time now.  You’ve raped and murdered and now you think you can just say some words and get into heaven?  As it turned out, this man, who was completely guilty of his crimes, had become a devout Christian, had established a prison ministry, counseled numerous inmates and had repented his sins.  It was said that he went to his death with the quiet dignity and calm you might have seen with the early Christian martyrs.  The world says, “You have to earn it!”  Jesus says, “It’s a gift, please accept it.” 

The parable in Matthew’s gospel is a very convicting scripture passage for all of us.  Jesus said, “The last will be first and the first will be last.”  Should we then pray to be less judgmental and be more open to God’s guidance in our relations with others?  Think about it.  Better yet, pray about it.   

Question of the Day:  How will you open your mind and your heart before becoming critical of others?

Prayer:  “Blessed is the servant whom the Lord finds watching when he comes.  Amen, I say to you: He will put that servant in charge of all his property.  Amen.  (Matthew 24:46-47.)

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic as well as for peace in our country and in our world.

Prosit

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