Ambition Gone Wrong

Ambition Can Make Ruin

Greetings on this the Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Jgs 9:6-15; PS 21:2-3, 4-5, 6-7; Mt 20:1-16
Notes: Ambition can be a mighty trap. It ensnares all those who seek higher status and wealth without considering the moral and ethical dimensions of their actions. It is not only the personal advancement beyond merit but the necessity of oppressing others in order to accomplish this advancement.

But Gideon answered them, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you. The LORD must rule over you.” (Jgs 8:23)

Yet even Gideon, who preferred the people follow the Lord not their own desires, fell to temptation.

Gideon made an ephod out of the gold and placed it in his city, Ophrah. All Israel prostituted themselves there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his household (Jgs 8:27).

First reading
Abimelech, Gideon’s son by a concubine, …

Put this question to all the lords of Shechem: ‘Which is better for you: that seventy men, all Jerubbaal’s sons, rule over you, or that one man rule over you?’ You must remember that I am your own flesh and bone (Jgs 9:2).

He could not imagine sharing power with the 70 others (a number like the Moses 70 Elders given to share in the burden of ruling the people).

He slaughtered all the 70 he could find but Jotham escaped.
Abimelech went on to do much worse. Slaughtering and even setting a crypt on fire to kill those inside.

Responsorial Psalm
Lord, in your strength the king is glad.

Alleluia Verse
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern the reflections and thoughts of the heart.

Gospel Portion
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like…

Jesus describes how the landowner paid the workers not the strict hourly wage but a living wage even for those who worked but one hour. The first, complained they were treated unfairly given the wages of the day.

Going out about five o’clock,
he found others standing around, and said to them,
‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’
They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’

The Lord measures by need not by merit.

Resist the temptation of ambition gone wrong.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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