Do you think life is unfair? If you agree then you will understand the parable Jesus told in today’s Gospel.
It’s the story of the landowner who hires day laborers at a variety of times in the day. Some bear the heat of the entire day while the last ones only work one hour. At pay time he begins with the last hired and gives them a whole day’s wages and continuing, gives all the workers the same - a whole day’s wages.
You can imagine the discussion this started. I imagine arguments about justice, fairness and contracts. I’m sure someone said “I’m coming to work late tomorrow” hoping of course that the landowner would behave the same.
This is a great story to read to your children at home. They, like us, will have opinions about this.
Jesus is teaching us not to be envious when someone else is the recipient of life’s generosity. “Are you envious when I am generous?” he says. Being envious is a real temptation for us because when we view life from the perspective of material possessions and look at our neighbors, there is a huge disparity among us. Clearly, there are many other disparities – health, opportunities, inheritances, friendships, families etc. etc. Truly, life is unfair.
But, let’s stop a moment. Let’s look honestly at ourselves and assess our own weaknesses and sins. Let’s acknowledge when we have personally fallen short, broken promises, lied, chosen self satisfaction over the needs of others etc. Then let’s think of the Lord’s love for us, his mercy and forgiveness. When I do that, I am the day laborer who did only one hour’s work. I have received much more that I deserve.
God bless you all,
View the photos from Father Dan Fox farewell liturgy on June 29, 2014.
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