The Gospel today gives us an insight into the mind of Christ. He used this beautiful and challenging parable to paint a picture of the incredible charity of God. Such is his love that we do not understand it. More-so, even: we challenge it because it does not concur with the redacted range of justice to which we are used.
We think, because we are human, that our ways and constructs are at the pinnacle of intelligence and design. But there is much that we do not understand. They may be at the pinnacle of OUR intelligence and design, but God is greater than us.
We’re we to relinquish the concept that we are in control, perhaps we would be able to better accept the love of God, to better give God’s love to those whom we are called to broadcast to.
Loving is not easy. Even with a dedicated partner, loving each other requires regular maintenance and the openness to accept each other’s faults and weaknesses. How much more should we work, then, to accept those of the people we do not know, or those who we find particularly difficult. These are the ones we are called to love. And the process is tremendously difficult.
Difficult, however, means possible. Within the scope of human life, the ability to take on this great challenge of sanctity is possible. The Gospels and the lives of saints are testimony to this truth – a truth that we can too easily obscure underneath the pressures of daily living, under the unpleasantness of selfishness and greed.
How, then, shall we develop in our own hearts this propensity to let go, to place God back in control? What can we do, throughout this next week, to live better as the children of God’s love?
The Lord be with you
And with your spirit.
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew 20:1-16
Glory to you, O Lord.
Jesus said to his disciples:
The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner going out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. He made an agreement with the workers for one denarius a day, and sent them to his vineyard. Going out at about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place and said to them, “You go to my vineyard too and I will give you a fair wage”. So they went. At about the sixth hour and again at about the ninth hour, he went out and did the same. Then at about the eleventh hour he went out and found more men standing round, and he said to them, “Why have you been standing here idle all day?” “Because no one has hired us” they answered. He said to them, “You go into my vineyard too”.
In the evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his bailiff, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last arrivals and ending with the first”.
So those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came forward and received one denarius each. When the first came, they expected to get more, but they too received one denarius each. They took it, but grumbled at the landowner. “The men who came last” they said “have done only one hour, and you have treated them the same as us, though we have done a heavy day’s work in all the heat.”
He answered one of them and said,
“My friend, I am not being unjust to you; did we not agree on one denarius? Take your earnings and go. I choose to pay the last comer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why be envious because I am generous?”
Thus the last will be first, and the first, last.’
The Gospel of the Lord Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.