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Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Parable of the Landowner (Matthew 20:1-16)

In today’s Gospel, (Matthew 20: 1-16) Jesus tells us about a landowner who hires people at different times of day and then at the end of the day pays them all the same wage.  When we hear this it just doesn't seem fair.

But looking back to today’s first reading we learn, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.  As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55: 8-9)  Paying everyone the same wage for different amounts of work may not seem fair to us, but our ways are not our Lords ways. 

In this Gospel the Landowner is God and the day’s wages are the Kingdom of Heaven.  The Kingdom of Heaven is not something that we can earn, but rather a generous gift that our loving God gives us.

Saint Thomas Aquinas put it this way, “This head of the household is God, whose family is the whole world…Those are called “hired” who should work for a reward, wageworkers… But to be a good wageworker, he must labor for his lord’s benefit: thus if we labor in the vineyard of the Church, we should return the whole thing to God…But God did not make an agreement with the workers he hired late because he always returns more than he promises…The Lord knew that if he had called them before (earlier in the day), they would not have stood (been ready).  So they are hired at the time when they consent, and they arise more efficaciously…”

In other words, God desires that everyone come to know Him, serve Him, and love Him, yet He also knows that not everyone is ready at the same time.  So He stands patiently waiting, knowing just the right time to “hire” each and every laborer for His Vineyard.  

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Payday G. M. & A. J. Reid Ranches 2010 - L. A. Momboisse 

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