Sunday, September 24, 2017

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor 

Quote of the Week: “I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us were it found us”. — Anne Lammot.

You have worked for eight hours, you are covered in sweat. You have tired muscles and are aching with exhaustion and hunger. You receive your agreed upon wage for eight hours. Now that is fair.

Someone comes to your work site at the end of the day, works one hour and receives the same wage as you. Now that is unfair!

Does this seem logical? Is there anyone who could create a worse scenario than Jesus does in this Gospel today?

Fair is fair. Unfair is unfair. Jesus, get it right!

But once again that is exactly the point. In the good news that Jesus proclaims, God is beyond fair and unfair. He generously, extravagantly, ridiculously and unconditionally pours out his love, grace and the gift of his salvation. It isn’t earned. It isn’t given out because we put in our required time or efforts. It is pure gift. It is pure love.

He doesn’t give it to some and withhold it from others. He gives it to all. He gives it all of the time.

The scriptures say it in many ways, but one of the most familiar passages says: “He sets his sun to shine on the good and the bad. He pours out his rain on the good and the bad.”

Does this not say it clearly? This good news is so often heard and most often ignored. Most people, when this is played out in real life, find it to be bad news.

If someone doesn’t earn something, they should not get it. That’s fair. That’s good news to most.

The bad news is to find out that someone gets something they did not deserve or earn. Then Jesus comes along and reveals a Father who always loves and always gives, always offers.

It really is too good to be true. But what if we lived a week believing this?

What if, even when we sinned, we believed and trusted and even expected that God was going to lead us to peace and healing, help us to learn even from error and sin, and that he would give to us just as generously than if we were doing good or even submerged in prayer?

Or does he withhold his love?

This parable, remember, is telling us about the kingdom of God. It is very different from the kingdom of man.

Thank God for the kingdom of God and for all the differences in that kingdom. That really is good news!

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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