St Rose of Lima, virgin, pray for us
20th Week in Ordinary Time : Wednesday 23rd August 2023
Jdg. 9:6-15; Ps. 20:2-7;
Mt. 20:1-16 (Ps. Wk. IV)
Jesus tells this story of the ‘workers in the vineyard’ to shed light on the kingdom of heaven.
The focus of the story is on the first and the last groups of workers. The first group worked six hours, from dawn to dusk, whereas the last group only worked one hour before closing.
The vineyard owner reverses the order of proceeding by ordering the last group to be paid first. And to their happy surprise beyond their imagining, they were paid a whole day’s wage!
The first group was paid last. And as they watched all the other groups being paid the usual daily wage, they expected to get more than the others since they had laboured the whole day. But much to their great disappointment and chagrin, they receive the agreed wages, like everybody else! They perceive this as an issue of ‘justice’. ‘This is unfair!’
It turns out to be a very tense situation…
The owner challenges the first group of workers, saying to one of them, “Friend, I have not been unjust to you. Did we not agree on one silver coin per day? Don’t I have the right to do as I please with my money? Why are you envious when I am generous?” (v15)
Lord God! Forgive me when I calculate how You, Gracious God, must act!! Give me the grace to expand my desire to the measure of Your heart. Amen!