Reflection on Scripture Twenty-fifth Sunday Gospel A

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Twenty-fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time: Gospel A

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.'

Have we ever felt that God’s ways are unfair? Or is it that God sees things differently than we do?
Instead of thinking about money, substitute grace. If no one earns grace,--it is freely given by God to whomever he chooses-- does it make any difference who gets what?
Or look at it from the point of view of eternal life, which is also a gift from God. If God chooses to give the repentant thief on the cross eternal life does that take away anything from the same gift to us? Being a disciple for many years or being a disciple for a short time, God chooses to give eternal life freely to both. Their equality comes not from what they did but from what God freely gave them.
What is their real complaint? They got what was agreed to at the beginning of the day. They figured that if the owner was going to be generous towards those who worked less, he should be more generous with those who worked longer. Human standards vs Divine standards.

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?
How does Christ’s words challenge the world’s understanding of justice (and maybe yours)?

Are you envious because I am generous?' Thus, the last will be first, and the first

will be last."
Is there envy or jealousy in our hearts over what God seemingly does for others? His blessing to them in comparison to his blessings to us?
How grateful are we for the generosity of God whose gifts are gratuitous?

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