25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (2023)

Mass Readings for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

  • First ReadingIsaiah 55:6-9: “As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.”
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 145: “The Lord is near to all who call upon him.”
  • Second ReadingPhilippians 1:20C-24, 27A: “Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.”
  • GospelMatthew 20:1-16A: “What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?”

Themes for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The readings for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A highlight God’s generosity. In the first reading we are told that God does not think the way we think. The psalm praises God’s compassion, justice, and mercy. The second reading reminds us that we must labor to imitate Christ. And in the gospel Jesus tells the parable about the workers in the vineyard and the generous landowner who paid them all the same wage.

  • Generosity
  • Serving others
  • Jealousy

See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.

Resources for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Give It Your All – A Lesson Plan on Generosity

This Give It Your All lesson plan encourages youth to consider how we use what we have. Do we use it to make ourselves good or are we generous in giving back?

The Prayer for Generosity

This Prayer for Generosity is often attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola, but it was probably not actually written by him. Even so, it is sometimes called the St. Ignatius Prayer. Much as the Peace Prayer is called the Prayer of St. Francis even though it was not written by Francis of Assisi.

God Sustains Us

We know God sustains us and cares for us. This is a prayer based on Psalm 145, the responsorial psalm for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. It expresses praise to God for the way he watches over us.

Do Yardwork for the Elderly in Your Neighborhood

Service projects are a good way to show our care for others. One popular project with teens and younger children is yardwork for the elderly. There might be some leaves left from the fall. Or fallen branches from winter storms. Or just some spring cleanup needed. An elderly neighbor will appreciate any help you can give.

Do One of the Corporal Works of Mercy

The gospels show us that Jesus reached out to those in need. His life is a model for how we should interact with others. One way to do this is through the Corporal Works of Mercy. Consider looking at these and doing one with the Catholic youth in your life.

Make Blessing Bags for the Homeless

One way to give to the less fortunate is to make blessing bags for the homeless. These care packages can be given to a local homeless shelter or outreach program to be distributed to their clients.  You can also keep blessing bags in your car to distribute to any homeless members of the community you encounter in your daily life.

Homilies and Reflections for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard

Jeff Cavins reflects on the readings for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.

The Off-Putting Generosity of God

From Bishop Robert Barron. “God’s ways are not our ways; God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. How is God’s love playing itself out in the world? It isn’t always easy to see, for there are so many injustices, so much innocent suffering, so much out of balance. But the dispensing of grace is God’s business, not ours, and so we should ask the question ‘why?’ not in a spirit of rebellion, but in an attitude of awe.”

Everything Is a Gift

From Fr. Richard Rohr. “Another familiar parable is the story of laborers who arrive at the last hour and get paid as much as the ones that began work at the first hour. Let’s be honest: None of us who are ‘worker-bees’ appreciate this story. All of us would think that if we bore the burden of the day’s heat working than we would deserve more than someone else.” Continue reading.

First and Last

From Scott Hahn. “The complaints of the laborers is similar to the elder brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son. We must avoid the temptation to resent God’s abundant mercy.” Continue reading.

Workers in the Vineyard

From Loyola Press. “On the surface, the parable of the workers in the vineyard appears to be an offense to common sense. Those who work a longer day ought to be paid more than those who work just an hour or two. When viewed in this way, the landowner seems unfair. ” Continue reading.

More Thoughts for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The parable in today’s gospel shows us the generous nature of God. It also points out that the “faithful” who have served the Lord all of their lives should not begrudge those who are penitent later in life. God is more merciful than any of us deserve and we should rejoice in this.

But this parable also can be a reflection on how our labor reflects our dignity as workers. We all deserve to be treated justly and to earn a living wage. All should have the opportunity to support themselves through meaningful labor. The worker deserves his pay.

Instead of comparing ourselves to each other, perhaps we should be ensuring that all have the means to support themselves and their families. By supporting wage earners and families, we are truly pro-life.

Reflection Questions for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

  • What stirs up jealousy in my heart?
  • Where do I need to be more generous in my life?
  • What does God’s generous nature mean for me?

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.

As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.

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