The Lord is Near To All Who Call On Him
For the second week in a row we hear a gospel story which, among other things, describes the economy of the kingdom of God. In “The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant”a steward whose debt is forgiven refuses to do the same for someone who owes him a lesser amount. In “The Workers of the Vineyard” those who are last to arrive receive equal pay as the other workers. It is clear from these parables that kingdom's economy is not based on the cost of money or gross hourly wage but rather on God's "radical generosity."
As I considered what to write in today’s liturgical notes I:
1. imagined 2 scenarios similar to the one in today’s gospel
2. listened to a TED talk
Here is the first scenario. A person runs from their parked car to the train platform. They need to make this train to be on time for a do or die job interview. They make it up the stairs and rush to the boarding train. People are standing outside its' open doors. The train is jammed full. What if you or I were that person? What if you or I were the person squeezed between a crowd of people and a train door about to close?
The second scenario is quite similar to the first except the person is no longer trying to get on a crowded train. They are struggling to gain access to a lifeboat. What would you or I do now?
David Miliband is the President of the International Rescue Committee. In his TED talk he tells this story about his grandmother and her aunt. They were the only two people in the family to resist the order of the Nazi authorities to report to the Brussels train station. Her fleeing to a nearby village and a French farmer who ultimately hid 12 Jewish refugees saved her life and made David's possible.
Finally, I took out the Rosary that I had recently received as a gift from a friend who recently returned from Rome. Monday is the day were the Joyful mysteries are prayed. The Annunciation, the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, The Nativity... I reflected on the irony of thinking about the thousands of children in refugee camps through the lens of the joy of the coming of the Christ-child.
Perhaps today's gospel will help us to see, think and act just a little differently. Please visit our Social Concerns homepage at www.stmarysnutley.org to find a link to David Miliband's TED talk and to learn how you can get involved.