Septuagesima Feb 17 2019 Fr. Michael Cawthon (final)

Septuagesima 2019

Do we run all of the race that is set before, or just part and then quit?

(Are we running in the right race?)

Just how many races are you running?

Are we wiser, you know, smarter than others?

Is our understanding of right and wrong true, proving our intellectual prow-ess?

What motivates, what guides us each day as we determine fright from wrong?


In the Gospel reading (Mat: xx)

workers are hired in the early morning hours, around 6 am, to work in the vineyard for a penny a day,

and then around 9am the householder hires others, promising to give them “whatsoever is right.”

He does the same in the sixth and ninth hour (around noon and 3 pm)

and likewise around 5 pm..

At the end of the day, he has them form a line,

instructing them to line up from the last hired to first hired.

He begins paying them – each a penny.

Of course, the first (the earliest workers hired)

began to murmur against the householder,

complaining that he had made the last equal to the first,

informing him that they had endured the heat of the day.

I would bet that many of us here would agree: this is wrong and unfair.


The householder then tells them:

“Take / that thine is, and go thy way; I will give unto this last, even as unto the first (thee.)

He then asks those complaining

“Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

So he informs them and us:

“The last shall be first, and the first last;

for many are called, but few are chosen.

This is a revealing story for those of us of the Christian Faith,

who’s ancestors – our elders in faith – the Jewish people;

had endured many hardships (and many heats of the day) and their sufferings were due to lack of faith and trust in the One God.

If we attempt to apply our human logical and reasoning ability to this scripture,

then we will forever miss the meaning of Christ’s birth,

thus the results of His death.

With human eyes we will never see, hear, nor understand!

How can a finite mind understand what is not finite,

but is eternal; as is the Alpha and Omega.


The Apostle Peter who often miss understood the words of Jesus,

warns us (2Pe 1:20)  “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”

Scripture is not a matter of one’s own interpretation.

By applying our private individual interpretation, we rely upon on our learnings, our circumstances, and our feelings.

Interpreting the words, and motives, of an infinite and eternal power,

is above anything we can even imagine (The ontological debate,)

and we will forever miss the mark

and we will remain in the frustration of darkness.

In this gospel we see that not very much has changed

From the days of Adam and Eve,

Man is ever the same;

constantly imposing our ideas upon God,

of what is right and wrong and supposedly true.

We often act as though we deserved something from God

(yes, the God whom we often deny by our actions and inactions.)

We seem to think that He has not the right, to give / of his own, as He desires.

Instead of judging God and others for fairness,

maybe, JUST MAYBE, we should be on our knees

praying and giving thanks to him who owes us nothing,

and yet provides for us all.


Now some may ask, what has God to do with my salary…

if so, I am so glad that you asked…

We often seek to keep pace with our neighbors, family members and friends.

So, what does the commandments tell us?  (Exo 20:17)

Thou shalt not covet:

thy neighbour’s house,

thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife,

nor his manservant, nor his maidservant,

nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

We are told not to covet – SHALT NOT DESIRE,

but we are to be satisfied; GRATEFUL FOR WHAT WE HAVE!

Paul says:  (Heb 13:5) “Let your conversation be without covetousness” keep your life free from love of things and money;

“be content with such things as ye have

be thankful and satisfied:

“for Jesus said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”


Parents look at your children

(look at your spouse)

children look at your parents –

RIGHT there before your eyes you see a GREAT and LOVING GIFT,

and this precious gift will fill any heart given to God.

(1Ti 6:10) it is … “the love of money that is the root of all evil:

which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith,

and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

So if you covet, ye do ere …

My brethren, seek ye first the Kingdom of God, love God first and then your neighbor, then relax:

for God knows exactly what you truly need,

and I guarantee you,  it is not as you think!

Serve God and neighbor – not some false object that you want and desire: for these are themselves the devil of covetousness.

(Ecc 5:10)  He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with their income.

This does not mean that we strive not for betterment of self and for our families; yes, we are to work hard, diligent, and do our best,

but we must learn and understand what is important,

and not only learn and understand,

but to do it as we set our priorities accordingly.

Place not the less important over what is most important.


Often we become depressed and complain and moan;

but if we have only what we truly deserve,

then our cup will be empty.

Our good news this morning is that: our cup over-floweth.

Each one of us possess the greatest power ever given to man,

God’s Grace.

His Love is within each one of you:

receive it, accept it, know it, believe it, yes even feel it;

once you do,

then go about your business and run your race based for Him – not yourselves.

God has given each of you a race to run; so go, and do it!

As you do so,

He will provide you

with all you need.

So now come humbly

and let Him feed you,

let Him nourish you for your race:

Let’s call it His Valintine

for each of you…

This is my Body:

this is my Blood.

Do this…


go and run that race that He has set before each one of you.

Let us proclaim together:

Come Lord Jesus…


The hour cometh and now is…..

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