Wednesday 15 June 2016

Wednesday of 20th week Mercredi de la 20e semaine

“Have I no right to do what I like with my own?”

Ez.34,1-11 Ps.22 Mt.20,1-16

Wednesday of 20th week, even numbered year 17th August 2016

“Now the Kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner going out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard.

He made an agreement with his workers for one denarius a day and sent them to his vineyard.

Going out at about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place and said to them ’Go to my vineyard too and I will give you a fair wage.

So they went. At about the sixth hour and again at about the ninth hour, he went out and did the same.”

We need to take note that the first ones who came along agreed to work for a basic salary of one denarius a day. These same workers scarcely appreciate just how generous their master is, and their jealousy will deprive them of any goodness of heart. They could have shown how grateful they were to have such a good master who ensured that everyone had enough they needed for themselves and for their families, but they did not.

When we are not inwardly disposed we can miss out on the simple joys of life and miss out also on divine graces. The power of grace can have such effects so as to change our life completely. This favour saves us, teaching us to lead a just life on this earth. This also implies an inner transformation, a change of behaviour and how we see things. Our natural tendency is to show envy towards those people who are in joyful state and to be indifferent to those who weep.

“Then at about the eleventh hour he went out and found more men standing round, and he said to them ’Why have you been standing her idle all day?’

’Because no one has hired us’ they answered.

He said to them ’You go into my vineyard too.’

In the evening the owner of the vineyard said to his bailiff ’Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last arrivals and ending with the first.”

We need to recall how the last ones who came along didn’t have any contract, but they did have a promise to be adequately paid. How surprised they were to receive a whole day’s pay.

In this parable our reaction will depend upon the group we identify ourselves with. We can be touched by the master’s sympathy towards the workers. In giving one whole denarius to each person he shows just how comprehensible and generous he is. It is the work of his Passion, with the ’third hour’ announced. This parable brings us into new dimensions of intimacy with God! Let us ask for the grace to change the way we see human reality so as to look into God’s Infinite Light of Love.

“So those who were hired at the eleventh hour came forward and received one denarius each. When the first came, they expected to get more, but they too received one denarius each. They took it, but grumbled at the landowner saying ’ the men who came last have only done one hour, and you have treated them the same as us, though we have done a heavy day’s work under the heat.”

He answered one of them and said’ My friend, I am not being unjust to you; did we not agree on one denarius? Take your earnings and go. I choose to pay the last comer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why should you be envious because I am generous? Thus the last will be first and the first, last."

Our natural tendency is to show sympathy to the workers who were the first ones to come along and are shocked with what appears to us to be unfair.

The Kingdom of God doesn’t work on this basis but on the basis of Divine grace which exerts its goodness towards everybody, bringing forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, joy to all those who have responded to his call.

Our own reaction can remind us of that of the religious leaders who were proud of how they kept to the Law. This shows how those who seemed to be the first were in fact the last.

God’s Goodness has no limits and you cannot reason with it, it is completely freely given and no law can contain it. Nothing can contain it.

Our desire is to be taught by Love.

We ask for the grace to enter into the gratuitous Love of God.