First Reading: Ez. 34:1-11
Psalm: Ps. 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
Gospel: Mt. 20:1-16
Today’s Gospel of the workers in the vineyard has often puzzled many of us. We are all brought up with ideas concerning work and compensation, i.e. no work no pay, more work more pay and less work less pay. It does not seem fair to the workers who had worked longer hours to receive less than those who had worked more.
Even during the time of Jesus, the people were shocked to hear of such a radical idea. However, perhaps Jesus really intended to shock his listeners in the same way he shocked those who listen to the parable of the good shepherd. What Jesus may be proposing to his listeners then and to us now, is that the Lord’s love and generosity is the foundation of thekingdomofGod.
This is so different and opposite from the way human nature operates. Why is it that many of us have difficulty in accepting that God’s love and generosity as the foundation of our value system? Is it because we were taught otherwise? Is it because of our greed, self-sufficiency and self-centeredness? Are we any different from the people during the time of Jesus? Perhaps we need to be reminded to thank the Lord for his generosity.