Go and Proclaim: “The LORD is Generous and Gracious”
First Reading: Jonah 3:10-4:11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145:1-2; 3-4; 6-7
Second Reading: Philippians 1:15-18
Gospel Reading: Matthew 20:1-16
GO AND PROCLAIM: THE LORD IS GENEROUS AND GRACIOUS
(A RECAPITULATION BASED ON THE HOMILY OF +FR. ROMIE JUN PENALOSA)
God is gracious, generous, and merciful. Yet, it begs the question: why do we find ourselves complaining? It’s a question every one of us must ask ourselves.
Oftentimes, when we are blessed with abundance, we refrain from asking or complaining before God. However, when problems happen, when illness lingers, or when we have nothing to eat, it seems that we keep on murmuring and complaining to God.
The story of Jonah, found in our first reading today, reflects our inclination to demand God’s fairness on our terms of justice. Despite God’s command to preach in Nineveh, Jonah resisted. He knew that if he obeyed, the people would repent, and God’s mercy would prevail. Jonah, on the other hand, desired punishment for their iniquities and wickedness. Similarly, in our lives, we might find ourselves indignant at oppression and corruption, yet if we benefit from these, we do not complain.
“We possess a wrong sense of justice.”
In our second reading, St. Paul teaches us not to harbor jealousy. He emphasizes that what truly matters is the preaching of the word of God, whether done sincerely or ambitiously.
“The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached.” (Philippians 1:18) When someone does good to others, we should appreciate it.
Our complaining attitude has two reasons: (1) envy and (2) jealousy. These are both rooted from a covetous heart. Envy and jealousy can destroy life if we are not watchful or careful of our hearts. The thought that “I deserve” or “I am entitled” to something is often the cause why we become envious and jealous and think of injustices. But let us realize that an envious and jealous heart will never be happy.
In the Kingdom of God, realize that we don’t deserve anything. Everything is by the grace, goodness, and mercy of God. From today’s Gospel, we can glean two essential insights:
- We have to learn to appreciate what we have been given. When we learn to be thankful for what we have, we become grateful for everything. And when we are grateful, we become happy in our life.
- Learn and cultivate love for others. To love is to will the good of others. Cultivate gratitude in our heart, and love for our brothers and sisters. So that when God blesses them, you will not be envious nor jealous and instead, you will be happy knowing the goodness of God in their lives as well.
Remember, “Not all happy people are grateful, but all grateful people are definitely always happy.”
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