Friday February 3

Daily Readings

  • Reading (Judges 9.6-15)

    All the lords of Shechem and all Beth-millo came together, and they went and made Abimelech king, by the oak of the pillar at Shechem. When it was told to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and cried aloud and said to them, “Listen to me, you lords of Shechem, so that God may listen to you.

    “The trees once went out to anoint a king over themselves. So they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’ The olive tree answered them, ‘Shall I stop producing my rich oil by which gods and mortals are honoured, and go to sway over the trees?’

    “Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and reign over us.’ But the fig tree answered them, ‘Shall I stop producing my sweetness and my delicious fruit, and go to sway over the trees?’

    “Then the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and reign over us.’ But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I stop producing my wine that cheers gods and mortals, and go to sway over the trees?’

    “So all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us.’ And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’”

    Responsorial Psalm (Psalm 21)

    R.  Lord, your strength gives joy to the king.

    In your strength the king rejoices, O Lord, and in your help how greatly he exults! You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. R.

    For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold on his head. He asked you for life; you gave it to him — length of days forever and ever. R.

    His glory is great through your help; splendour and majesty you bestow on him. You bestow on him blessings forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence. R.

  • Gospel (Matthew 20.1-16a)

    Jesus spoke this parable to the disciples: “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the labourers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard.

    “When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

    “When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’

    “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.

    “Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 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 the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

    “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

A- A A+