Sunday’s Gospel -Matthew 20: 1-16a

Dear Parishioners:
Our initial reaction to the parable in this Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 20: 1-16a) is shock that the one who worked in the vineyard for one hour received the same payment as the one who worked and toiled all day. But the laborer deserves his payment, and more importantly, all were paid the sum that they agreed to, beginning with the last and ending with the first.

We know that would never happen in this day and age with hourly wages, fair labor laws, unions, etc. All employers expect a full day’s work from us.

But in this parable, our Lord isn’t teaching us about labor relations, but rather, he teaches us about the kingdom of heaven and the generosity of God. Jesus illustrates for us that the Lord is generous in giving free and undeserved gifts. With all the work that needs to be done for the sake of the kingdom, the Lord continually calls laborers to work in his  vineyard-,laborers who’ll work for an eternal and heavenly reward. We are all called to labor in the Lord’s vineyard because there’s much work that needs to be done. Some of us are called at an early age
to work for the kingdom’s sake, and some of us are called much later in life.

But eventually, all are called to labor for the Gospel in accord with our particular vocation in life. The vocation Jesus called us to that will help us get to heaven. Therefore, we all are to labor for the same heavenly reward. Our heavenly reward is borne from God’s generosity, and the Lord will never be outdone or outmatched in generosity because His ways are above man’s ways and His thoughts are above man’s thoughts. The Lord’s generosity is unlimited and infinite. It knows no bounds, and what we receive from the Lord God comes from Him with abundance and without measure.

We often find the mind of God incomprehensible, and we, as mere mortals, tend to measure out our generosity in relationship to what we receive. Even subconsciously, we hold back in being generous, and we tend to put up limits and conditions,  rather than being selfless and giving. But we must always keep in mind that our ways aren’t God’s ways and that we must strive to have
the sense of God and follow Christ’s command to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.

With a generous heart,
Fr. Perez