“Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you, and go.” (Matthew 20:13-14)
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus tells the parable of the Landowner to further teach us the need to avoid pride in our lives; whether based on our material possessions or our spiritual wealth. Basically, Jesus wants us to know how essentially equal we are before God, our creator.
A landowner recruits people to his vineyard and agrees with each how much he would pay at the end of the day’s work. Each person had the opportunity to bargain for his own pay before they started the work.
At the end of the day’s work, everyone got exactly what he bargained for. The problem started when those who had earlier agreed to be paid a denarius in the morning realised that even those who started work in the evening got the same denarius.
That is just life for you. Like these workers in the vineyard, what separates us from each other are unimportant factors. There is no need looking down on anyone or taking anyone to be a god because at the end of the day, even if it seems we are better or worse than others now, we are all equal before God.
Jesus has said it all: “The last will be first, and the first will be last.” The essence of the Christian life is COLLABORATION, not COMPETITION. Why engage in fights with others? In a few years from now, we would have all become dust under the ground.
Avoid looking down on anyone as no one can see the future. Imagine the workers employed in the morning mocking (or even maltreating) the ones employed in the evening not knowing they were not better off.
In our first reading, God tells Ezekiel to prophesy against the bad shepherds who were leading the people astray. The progress and development of any society, as well as its destruction, lies heavily on the quality of its leadership.
In a society like ours where politics is conceived as the most viable business, we have a lot of shepherds who, rather than feed the sheep, simply feed on the sheep. Let us examine ourselves: “What kind of shepherd am I? Is God proud of me?
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, teach me to collaborate rather than to compete. Amen
Bible Study: Ezekiel 34:1-11, Psalm 23:1-6, Matthew 20:1-16).