Today’s first reading is one that should be required daily reading for priests and bishops. Through Ezekiel, God talks about some not-so-good shepherds. He is not pleased; and when He is not pleased, things don’t end well for those with whom He is not pleased. Pray for our bishops and priests, that they may be good shepherds! The Gospel today from Matthew 20 is the parable of the workers in the vineyard.
Jesus tells the story of a landowner who needs workers for his vineyard. So he hires some people on at the beginning of the day, some in the middle of the day, and some near the very end of the day. And at the end of the day, he pays them all the same. The nerve! So the people who busted their humps all day complain; after all, those others only worked a few hours. Seems rather unjust, doesn’t it.
God’s idea of justice may not match up with ours. On the surface, I empathize with the early starters. The landowner says, “My friend, I am not cheating you. Are you envious because I am generous?” It’s a great question. We, like the angels in heaven, should rejoice whenever someone comes into the kingdom. Let God decide who gets what. That’s not our job.
Father, forgive us for our petty envy and jealousy. May we rejoice whenever someone comes to work in your vineyard. Amen.
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