Wise Words for Today

In our first readings for yesterday and today at Mass, the Prophet Ezekiel ( 24,1-11) has some wise but hard words for secular and religious leaders. St. Matthew’s gospel today about the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20,1-16) has some lessons for ordinary people too.

Yesterday Ezekiel spoke against the King of Tyre for making himself a god. Clever, successful, sure of himself, the King of Tyre sits on the throne that belongs to God alone. He will be pulled from his throne and put to a violent death. 

Remember, though, Ezekiel is a Jewish exile in Babylon. He’s really speaking, not about the ruler in Tyre, but about the ruler in Babylon. Leaders like him shouldn’t make themselves gods. Only God is king over all. That’s true today as well as then. 

Today, Ezekiel excoriates the shepherds of Israel, the Jewish religious leaders, who gouge their sheep for their own benefit. Woe to these shepherds, the Lord says.

Notice that God doesn’t say he will replace the shepherds with other shepherds. God himself will be their shepherd.

 “Thus says the Lord GOD: I swear I am coming against these shepherds. I will claim my sheep from them and put a stop to their shepherding my sheep …I will save my sheep… I myself will look after and tend my sheep.”

There’s no sign that God gives up on his people in our reading. In fact, God becomes more engaged than ever. He comes when times are bad. “I myself will look after and tend my sheep.” The Lord is our shepherd.

The gospel reading from Matthew about the workers in the vineyard may also say something to us today. First, it says the owner of the vineyard is looking for a harvest. He wants it, it’s close to his heart, and so he calls laborers, as many as he can get, at any time he can get them. 

God wills a kingdom to come.

The laborers ( they’re us) have their own ideas how it will come. They want to control the way things are done. They have fixed ideas and dispute the owner of the vineyard. He’s not fair, they say. Actually, he’s far more generous than their ideas make him to be.

Keep looking at the Word of God. Far wiser that what you hear and see on CNN, Fox, CBS, the New York Times, ABC. or Facebook, or Twitter…..

4 thoughts on “Wise Words for Today

  1. Jo Shafer

    Actually, the prayer “thy will be done” is not hard to say at all. It’s God’s highest will we should want done because “Father knows best,” doesn’t He? I much prefer His will be done on earth, beginning with me. Anything less is too scary to contemplate.


  2. vhoagland Post author

    God’s will, yes we want it done. Thanks for your comment. Wish you were closer to give us some advice on our Mary Garden. Know anything about growing fig trees?. I want a couple near the garden.

    FV Victor


  3. fdan

    Dear Father Victor, I checked and the Home Depot in Glendale has fig trees in stock and they deliver too. They have a variety of sizes. The tree specialist there told me the best time to plant them is fall to early spring. Home Depot also has an online store for ordering and they too have a selection of choices. Also, Good Housekeeping online has an excellent article that details how to grow fig trees and how to care for and maintain them. Hope this helps! Let me know if I can be of any further assistance.


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