The Laborers in the Vineyard
Reflection on the Gospel of the Wednesday
“ I choose to give to this last, the same as I give to you.”
Finally, there is something I can do better than God. Of course, it’s Math . What? Can’t you see God’s foolishness? He counts backwards, does not know His divisions and has a very poor memory. He can’t remember who came first.
Wait a minute. Don’t judge me. It’s Jesus who gives us all these details about God in today’s gospel.
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner,” Jesus says, “who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.”
If heaven is God’s kingdom then He is the landowner.
Jokes apart. My dear brothers and sisters in Christ , I know what you all are thinking right know. GOD’S FOOLISHNESS IS BETTER THAN MAN’S WISDOM.
Yet in our pride and sin we always think that we know better, only because we can divide our properties among us and dare not give even a foot extra to our siblings. We are so wise that we always want to get the first or higher place in family, community or events. We are so brilliant that we have made sure that the world economy runs the same way as it has been from the time money was invented i.e. The rich became richer an the poor became poorer. We have heard and read this parable many times in our lives. Today I want to share with you about the compassionate heart of the Landowner (GOD). Through out the Bible God has set an example by doing things first, so that we learn and follow. He loved us first, He forgave us first, He died for us first and through His resurrection , He has called us to rise up to a new life in Him.
In today’s gospel, Jesus explains that while the Jews were the first labourers in salvation history – of God’s Vineyard, God now was welcoming the Gentiles, late in the day, “at the eleventh hour” (Matthew 20:6), i.e., at the establishment of the New Covenant by Christ.
But today we are reminded, that eternal life is fundamentally a gift from God. The landowner goes at different time to the marketplace to hire laborers. We mostly focus on the first laborers hired and the landowner . But what about the one who came to work later. Jesus has always seeked the lost sheep/the stragglers, leaving the 99 to do so. Put yourself in the shoes of the laborers who were waiting for someone/some source of income to feed their family. Those by noon knew that the chances were very low to get a job, yet they waited hope against hope for some miracle. Can you imagine the fear ,disappointment, emotional pain and grief of the laborers who were hired last. They knew that no job will come their way the last hour and even if there is a small job, that payment will not be enough. Can you imagine the joy of these laborers when they were paid a full day’s worth wage? My family in Christ, we look at people’s failures and sin and are biased about them and judge them – condemning them – as to how they should suffer, be treated or ill rewarded. But God works differently, he is just be you first or last, the paramount though for him is how to provide for you and complete you with His unconditional love and mercy. To God it does not matter what they have done in their whole life.
While our reward may be different in heaven based on our respective good works (Rom. 2:6-11, Gal. 6:6-10), the primary gift of eternal life is something all who turn to Jesus, whether early in life or late, receive because of God’s great generosity and mercy.
Lord help me to see others with your eyes and let me love them as myself. Amen.