First Mass

[Scripture Readings: Judges 9:6-15; Mt 20:1-16a]

“The Last will be first and the first will be last.”

Both of our Readings today speak of a certain inequality that might slightly grate on our sense of fairness. In the first reading from the Book of Judges, Jotham tells a parable to the residents of Shechem and Beth-millo concerning the trees that went to anoint a king over themselves. And we will remember that the word anoint in Hebrew is Meseh from which comes the word Messiah, the anointed one. But it is not the highest order of trees, the olive tree , the fig tree or the vine, but the lowliest, the thorn bush is anointed King.

And in today's Gospel Jesus tells the parable of the Kingdom of Heaven likened to a landowner hiring laborers. And the outcome of reward is neither those who labor the entire day or those who have endured the heat of the day but have worked in the fields for merely an hour.

So, this supposedly inequality of both readings gives us the sense that in the scheme of things, God's ways are not according to the wishes and desires and rational programs of humanity. But in a sense that is beyond us, giving to our fallen and undeserving world his only begotten Son in the guise of the lowly thorn bush and the lowliest laborer.

The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity comes into our world, clothed in human flesh, and then gives himself to us in the Eucharist.