“ARE YOU ENVIOUS BECAUSE I AM GENEROUS?” MT 20:1-16
Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o’clock,
he saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.’
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o’clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o’clock,
he found others standing around, and said to them,
‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’
They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.’
When those who had started about five o’clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
‘These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’
He said to one of them in reply,
‘My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?’
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.” MT 20:1-16
Today, we are reminded that God’s grace is not earned. It is a gift given by God. God cannot be outdone in generosity. It is not to be confused with work as the parable Jesus uses today. We must work to eat and support our families. St. Augustine said, “Work as if everything depended on you, pray as if everything depended on God.” The point is Jesus is not talking about work. He is talking about God’s grace. How do we receive grace?
First, by faith which is also a free gift from God. We believe. Second, we come to the instruments of grace which Jesus instituted on earth, the sacraments. These are given to us by priests or the bishop. The Catholic ER (Eucharist and Reconciliation) are important to receive often after Baptism to fight our fallen human nature, to fight the Devil, to aid our friendship with the Lord, and to help us avoid the near occasion of sin. Jesus makes all things new in us when we receive these commandments.
Third, prayer and works of mercy. Most importantly, God’s grace can be given to those who come to Him early in life or later in life. The one exception is if we think we are going to fool God by doing whatever we want and then converting on our death bed. Most people do not convert on their death bed.
God decides how He wants to give His grace. We have the ability to love God back (He wants us to participate in our journey to salvation; a blank canvas each day we wake) and receive His grace as much or little as we choose. Then, we are called to share this love with others. Choose wisely!
Today’s challenge: Set a goal to receive God’s grace in the Eucharist one more time a week and go to confession every month. Put it on the calendar or work it into your schedule. Be transformed and thank God for His generosity of grace so that we may be saved and receive the eternal reward.
Be a servant, become a saint!