Today’s reading: Matthew 20: 1-16
This is always one of the hardest parables for me. Jesus tells the parable of the workers hired to work in a vineyard. Some are hired early in the morning, others at noon; some others with only three hours left and some are even hired in the last hour of the day. Yet those who work only 1 hour get paid the same wages as those who worked all day. Every time I read it I sympathize with those guys who worked all day. It’s not fair that they work all day and get paid the same as those who worked only 1 hour! Then I read on and I catch myself getting Jesus’ point.
Those who worked all day got what they were promised and they have no right to be angry if the master wants to be generous and give the same to those who worked only one hour. In fact, those who worked all day should be happy for the other and respectful of the master who is so generous. When I read this part I always feel a little twinge of guilt for falling into the emotional trap of this parable yet again. Then I am usually happy because we know the vineyard they are called to is God’s kingdom and the wages they are given is eternal life. Of course, I am happy for those that only worked an hour, who at the last moment, did something … they did just what they needed and got in just in time. I’m ecstatic they made it. And of course, the wages are the same, for each person that make it to heaven gets the same thing, union with God, perfection and complete happiness.
Tomorrow: Matthew 20: 17-34