Vatican City, Sep 24, 2017 / 08:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- No one is “unemployed” when it comes to spreading the message of the Gospel, Pope Francis has said, because each one of us is called to take up the task and to do our own part in God’s plan of salvation.
“The message is this: in the Kingdom of God no one is unemployed, everyone is called to do their part,” the Pope said Sunday Sept. 24.
“And for everyone there will be the compensation of divine justice – not human (justice), fortunately! – which is the salvation that Jesus Christ acquired for us with his death and resurrection.”
This salvation is “not merited, but given,” Francis said, explaining that this is why Jesus in the Gospel says “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.”
He spoke to pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square for his Sunday Angelus address, focusing on the day’s Gospel from Matthew which focuses on the parable of the landowner who hires men to work in his vineyard at all hours of the day, and in the end pays them all equally.
Jesus tells his disciples this parable to communicate two different aspects of the Kingdom of God, Pope Francis said. The first is that “God wants to call everyone to work in his kingdom,” and the second is that “in the end he wants to give everyone the same reward, which is salvation, eternal life.”
When the end of the day comes and everyone is paid the same amount, no matter how many hours they worked, those who labored all day understandably complained, the Pope said, because they received the same amount as those who worked less.
However, the landowner reminds them that “they received what was agreed,” and if he wants to be generous, those who came earlier “should not be envious.”
The Pope said that in reality, “this ‘injustice’ of the landowner is used to provoke, in whomever listens to the parable, a jump in level, because Jesus does not want to speak about the problem of work and a just salary, but the Kingdom of God.”
In telling the parable, Jesus wants to open our hearts “to the logic of the Father, who is free and generous,” Francis said. This means to let ourselves be “amazed and fascinated” by the ways and thoughts of God, which, he noted, “are not our ways and thoughts.”
Rather, the thoughts of mankind are often marked by selfishness and personal gain, and frequently our “narrow and winding” paths are not comparable to those of the Lord, which are “broad and straight.”
“The Lord uses mercy, forgives widely and is full of generosity and goodness that pours onto each one of us, and opens to all the boundless territories of his love and grace, which alone can give the human heart the fullness of joy,” he said.
Jesus, Francis said, makes us contemplate the specific gaze of the landowner, which is “the gaze with which he sees each one of his laborers waiting for work” and is the gaze with which he calls us “to go into his vineyard.”
His gaze is also one that calls, invites one to get up and start walking, the Pope said, because the Lord wants the fullness of life for each person, one that is committed and “saved from emptiness and inertia.”
“God does not want to exclude anyone and he wants everyone to reach their fullness,” he said, adding that “this is love, the love of our Father.”
He closed his address asking that the Virgin Mary help us to welcome “the logic of love” into our lives, “which frees us from the presumption of earning the reward of God and from negative judgments of others.”
After leading pilgrims in the traditional Marian prayer, Pope Francis noted that Fr. Stanley Francis Rother was beatified Saturday in Oklahoma City.
Considered a martyr, Fr. Rother was killed in hatred of the faith “for his work of evangelization and of human promotion in favor of the most poor in Guatemala,” the Pope said.
He then prayed that Fr. Rother’s “heroic example” would help us to be “courageous witnesses of the Gospel, committing ourselves to promoting the dignity of the human being.”
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