Gospel – Matthew 20:1-16A
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o’clock,
the landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.’
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o’clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o’clock,
the landowner found others standing around, and said to them,
‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’
They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.’
When those who had started about five o’clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
‘These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’
He said to one of them in reply,
‘My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?’
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Reflection on Sunday Gospel
Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God…
In this Gospel by Matthew, we come to meet the “workers in the vineyard.” As the Gospel comes to a close, the initial vineyard workers, who toiled all day, find themselves questioning the generosity of the landowner, who gave the same pay to workers who may have only toiled an hour or two. Surely if the landowner was as generous to those who worked less, those who worked more should receive more?
Certainly, we can relate to this logic. He who does the most work, should receive his just reward. What we must remember here in this parable, is that it is God’s love which we work for, in his vineyard we toil. His abundant and generous love is open and equal to all. There are many of us who have been procuring God’s glory for a long time, but even those who come to “the vineyard” later on, have just as much right to our Lord’s amazing grace.
May we continue to work tirelessly in the vineyard, and help others come to know His abundance, so that “the last will be first and the first will be last,” and all can be recipients of His blessing.
St. John Baptist de La Salle … Pray for Us!
Live Jesus in our Hearts … Forever!