Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time (II)

Official Translation

Reading 1 – Ezekiel 34:1-11

The word of the Lord came to me saying,
“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel,
prophesy, and tell them, the shepherds,
‘Thus says the Lord God:
“Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves!
Should not shepherds feed the sheep?
You eat the fat, and you clothe yourself with the wool,
you kill the fatlings, but you do not feed the sheep.
You have not strengthened the diseased,
nor have you healed what was sick,
nor have you bound up what was broken,
nor have you brought back what was driven away,
nor have you sought what was lost;
but with force and brutality you have ruled over them.

They were scattered, because there was no shepherd,
and they became food to all the animals of the field.
My sheep were scattered and wandered
through all the mountains and on every high hill.
My sheep were scattered over all the surface of the earth,
and there was no one who looked after them or for them.”

Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord,
“As I live”, says the Lord God, “because my sheep became prey,
and my sheep became food to all the animals of the field,
because there was no shepherd,
nor did my shepherds search for my sheep,
and though the shepherds fed themselves,
they did not feed my sheep,
therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord.”
Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am coming against the shepherds,
and I will claim my sheep from their hands,
and cause them to cease feeding the sheep,
nor shall the shepherds feed themselves anymore,
and I will deliver my sheep from their mouth, from being food for them.”
For thus says the Lord God,
“Behold, I, myself, will look after and for my sheep.”’”

Responsorial - Psalm 23.1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6 Resp. 1

R. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He has me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff –
they comfort me.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

You prepare a table before me,
in the presence of my foes.
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

R. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Gospel – Matthew 20.1-16

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a human master of a household,
who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day,
he sent them into his vineyard.
He went out around the third hour
and saw others standing idle in the marketplace.
He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard,
and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went their way.
Again he went out around the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise.
Around the eleventh hour, he went out, and found others standing idle.
He said to them, ‘Why do you stand here all day idle?’
“They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
“He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard,
and you will receive whatever is right.’
When evening had come, the lord of the vineyard said to his manager,
‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages,
beginning with the last to the first.’
When those who were hired around the eleventh hour came,
they each received a denarius.
When the first came, they supposed that they would receive more,
but they likewise each received a denarius.
When they received it,
they murmured against the master of the household, saying,
‘These last have spent one hour, and you have made them equal to us,
who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat!’

But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong.
Did you not agree with me for a denarius?
Take what is yours, and go your way.
It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you.
Is it not lawful for me to do what I want to with what I own?
Or is it bad in your eyes that I am good?’
So the last will be first, and the first last.
For many are called, but few are chosen.”

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