Now, when King David was dying, he told his son, “If you seek the Lord, he will let himself be found by you” (1 Chron 28:9b). Shortly after that, the Lord appeared to new king Solomon, and told him that no matter how bad things might get, if the people “seek my presence and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins” (2 Chron 7:14b). Now, 400 years later, we hear the prophet Isaiah in the First Reading (Is 55:6-9) urging the Jewish people in Exile – who are experiencing how bad it can get – to “seek the Lord.” And the Psalmist today stresses “The Lord is near to all who call upon him” (Ps 145:18).
Why do the people seek the Lord? In most cases, they are in a bad situation, and they cry out for his mercy and compassion. That’s the link. God’s holiness will not tolerate sin; therefore, you always see “conditions” (or "prerequisites") such as the call to “forsake” wicked ways, “turn” from evil ways, and in New Testament times, “repent” – actions which show a humbled heart open to God.
In our Gospel story (Mt 20:1-16a), we hear the parable of the Vineyard Workers. Notice that the “owner” of the vineyard – God – goes out himself to find the unemployed workers, rather than the other way around. He treats all equally, no matter how late the hour, demonstrating his compassion and mercy to those without dignity. Such is the way of our God with sinners. God is always inviting us to return to his vineyard, and find meaning in a restored relationship with our merciful Creator. He’s inviting us to seek Him, and to be assured that He will let himself be found!
We ask the Mother of Mercy to pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death – this humbly acknowledges that we are indeed sinners seeking God’s mercy. God desires mercy from us also, not sacrifice. Therefore we must imitate Jesus, and desire to perform works of mercy like a true disciple.
Also see articles #2677, #2100 and #2100 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
But you can’t read these articles if you don’t have a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.