Daily Gospel Reflection - Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Gospel Reflection - Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

Bishop Robert Barron 
August 17,2022 
Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time 

Gospel: Mt 20:1-16

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.” 
*United States Conference of Catholic

Bishop Robert Barron

Friends, in today’s Gospel, we hear of a landowner who goes out to hire workers for his field, hiring some first thing in the morning and then others at different times during the day. Then he pays each the same wage. Why should those who have worked only an hour be paid the same as those who have slaved in the hot sun all day? Is the landowner really being unfair? 

Perhaps he saw something that the first workers didn’t see. Perhaps he saw, in his compassion, that their day spent waiting for work to feed their families was a terrible one, marked by anxiety and a sense of failure. Or perhaps he knew that they were poorer, more desperate, less gifted. Maybe he knew they needed a bit more encouragement. 

Here’s a second perspective on this mysterious story. We sinners are very susceptible to a reward-centered understanding of our relationship to God. Tit for tat; I do this, then you better do that. But this is very juvenile. 

We’ve been invited to work in the vineyard of the Lord. That is the greatest privilege imaginable, to participate in the Lord’s work of saving the world. Why are we fussing about rewards? And how liberating this is! I don’t have to spend my life fussing and spying and worrying and comparing. I can live.

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HỘI DÒNG NỮ ĐA MINH GÒ VẤP: Daily Gospel Reflection - Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Daily Gospel Reflection - Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Daily Gospel Reflection - Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
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