GOD HAS THE SAME LOVE FOR ALL, POPE SAYS AT ANGELUS
By Cindy Wooden
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — People often are tempted to think their relationship with God is some kind of commercial transaction where they buy God's grace with their hard work, Pope Francis said.
Another temptation is to judge others and presume that they have not worked as hard to deserve God's love, the pope said Sept. 24 as he commented on the day's Gospel reading before reciting the Angelus prayer with some 18,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square.
St. Matthew's account of the parable of the vineyard workers, who worked different hours but received the same pay, is not about the workers, but about God, the pope said.
The workers who were in the field all day are annoyed that those who worked only an hour receive the same pay, which the pope said reveals how "sometimes we risk having a 'mercantile' relationship with God, focusing more on our prowess than on the generosity of his grace."
And, he said, sometimes "the church, instead of going out at all hours of the day and extending our arms to all, we can feel like we are the first in the class, judging others as being far behind, without remembering that God loves them, too, with the same love he has for us."
The Gospel also has implications for Christians' relationships with other people, the pope said. It urges them to "break out of the cage of calculation," in which people give others only what they receive or only what they think they deserve, "without daring to go the extra mile, without counting on the effectiveness of good done freely and love offered with a broad heart."