Sunday, January 31, 2010
The parable in the Gospel for Septuagesima Sunday makes it clear that the kingdom of heaven is not given as a reward for works, but as a gift of grace. The first laborers to be sent into the vineyard were disappointed when they received their penny because they were working according to a contract, a law, an obligation. Not so the remaining laborers. The landowner merely said that he would give them "whatsoever is right." Therefore they, unlike the first, had to trust the landowner in going forth. So must we Christians live by faith and not by works. Especially the last of the laborers received the reward for a day's labor they had not accomplished. It was accomplished by another, the holy Ox of our salvation, whose plow already completed the work, and bids us now to take His yoke--freed from the plow--upon us, for it is easy and light. The penny of the kingdom of heaven appears small and to be despised, but behold, it is the mark of heaven, and therefore contains eternal riches for the faithful. Here is today's sermon.