We have two very interesting readings today. The first reading from Judges 9 is about trees ruling over each other. Except it’s not about trees at all. It’s about how sometimes those in leadership are not the cream of the crop. Sound familiar?
In today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 20, Jesus tells a parable about a landowner who hires people at different times of the day. At the end of the day, they all receive the same wage. The folks who labored all day were naturally put off. They felt it was unjust that those who worked only a short time should receive the same as they. The landowner asks, “Are you envious because I am generous?” The gist of the story is that it’s never too late to answer the call into the Kingdom. Some come early, some come late – even on their deathbed.
While the Catholic Church has assured the faithful that certain people are in heaven (saints), the Church has never declared that anyone is in hell. She leaves that up to God. If the world exploded today and all humanity went to their eternal reward, would you be surprised to see Hitler in heaven? Or Donald Trump? Or Barack Obama? Or your ex? Or the person who abused your child? Or (fill in the blank with the person you detest the most)? If you did see them there, would you be angry? (Trick question. If you’re angry, you’re not in heaven!) We all have until our last breath. Instead of fixating on who else gets in, let’s make sure we’re answering the call into the Kingdom today.
Father, we accept your invitation to repent, to love, to forgive, to go to work for the Kingdom. Help us to invite others to do the same. Amen.