24 September: Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity

 Van Gogh, Red Vineyard, 1888

Van Gogh, Red Vineyard, 1888

Collect of the Day  Keep, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy Church with thy perpetual mercy: and, because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall; keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R/ Amen.

Lesson   Isaiah 55.6-9  Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Epistle  Philippians 1.20c-24, 27a  Brethren: Christ will be honoured in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  If it is to be life in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me.  Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.  I am hard pressed between the two.  My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.  But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.

Gospel  Matthew 20.1-16  At that time: At that time: Jesus told his disciples this parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard.  After agreeing with the labourers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.  And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place; and to them he said, 'You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.'  So they went. "Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. "And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing; and he said to them, 'Why do you stand here idle all day?'  "They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' "He said to them, 'You go into the vineyard too.' "And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, 'Call the labourers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.'  "And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius.  Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius.  And on receiving it they grumbled at the householder, saying, 'These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.' "But he replied to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius?  Take what belongs to you, and go; I choose to give to this last as I give to you.  Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?  Or do you begrudge my generosity?'  So the last will be first, and the first last."