9/20/2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

     Last Sunday in the Gospel we learned from Jesus, that forgiveness is not an option for the Christian, but it is a necessity. Only by forgiving that we are forgiven, and by forgiveness that we are saved. It is a difficult lesson because sometimes we don't know how to forgive - always. It feels so difficult, but we know, that it is the only way to God. Saint John Paul II wrote an Encyclical - God is rich in Mercy. God always forgives the one that is repented. His Mercy is infinite.

     Today, Jesus is teaching us about generosity of God, that goes beyond what human mind can capture, but it is perceived by a loving heart. It is in nature of God to be generous beyond human measure, to be generous infinitely, as He is infinite. The treasury of God's gifts never gets empty, He always has more to give. It is not difficult for us to understand it, but it is impossible for us to imitate it. God's giving is based on God's wisdom, He gives us what we need and not what we want.

       Jesus speaks of the owner of the vineyard, who wants to provide generously for all workers, he wants to provide what is necessary for their families, but that generosity is perceived by other workers as injustice. They aspired to receive more, beyond what they agreed to work for. From human perspective it was making sense, but it was not based on their own personal relationships with the owner, it was based upon comparing themselves to other workers, those coming at later hours. If the payment would come from the first to the last, they would have never realized what had happened, and they would not be scandalized by the generosity of the owner.

       Comparing ourselves to others is not the best way of growing in relationship with God. Comparing could be good if we were seeking to grow in holiness, but comparing that is coming from pride and jealousy is damaging for us. It can be deadly for our relationships with God and with others. The purpose of our lives is not in accumulation of material prosperity, but in developing our relationship with The One, that is the source of our being and of all creation.

       That relationship has to be personal, and is not based upon what others do and have, but upon our own responding to the opportunities that the Lord lays open before us. Our sense of justice and what is regarding our relationship with the Lord, has nothing to do with what others have or do. What others do, it may be affecting us, but only to show what attitude we have in front of others, and what motivates our actions and lives. It shows our holiness and nobility of our hearts.

      God's relationships are motivated by love, and the highest form of love is Mercy. Mercy is the greatest extent of love; it is the greatest form of generosity. Generosity that is only human, can be damaging to the growth of the human person, as we see with children who get spoiled by having not to work for what they need, than they learn to pretend to be maintained by the giver to the point of being damaged as selfish persons, by not developing their own skills of life and true mature personhood. Material over-gifting may have negative consequences for human growth and personal development. It fosters false vision of life for someone, who didn't mature yet to what life is about. We see it over and over again, that material wealth does not bring necessarily happiness, it may be destructive.

      God's generosity is always about giving us what we need, but our human perspective easily gets focused on material side, without seeing the spiritual. What can one gain from conquering the whole world and loosing ones own soul? Whatever we have, should bring us closer to God and to others. Whatever others have should never separate us from God. We all need a healthy relationship with the First Giver, the giver of all things among which is our being, and as consequence our relationship with God. If anything should be destroying these two, it is not good for us, it is not good for our soul.

       Our having material things should not separate us from God and from others, and our giving should bring us closer to God and to others.

As Saint Theresa said:
"God alone is enough for us, if we have God we have everything."

     We pray for our youth to be Confirmed, that they receive plenty of spiritual gifts and fullness of the Holy Spirit.

God bless everyone !!!

Fr. Stan