“That’s not fair!” How many times have we heard or thought or said that in our lives? We often hear it from children regarding their given chores. Adults have perhaps not said it aloud but thought it often about how something involving them was handled in a work situation. And many parents may remember saying in response to a child’s exclamation of unfairness, “Well life is not always fair.” In our Gospel today, those same words might have been spoken as we read the parable of the landowner employing laborers in his vineyard. Those who worked all day could not imagine that those who worked only a few hours would receive the same wage. Yet the question the employer asks needs to be answered truthfully; “Did you not agree with me for the usual day’s wage?” In other words, I paid you what you agreed to work for, why is that not enough?
What Jesus is again teaching in this Gospel is that our human ways are not the same as God’s way. We, as humans, do not think or act as God does. Might it be that this parable was meant to teach us about how each of us will be rewarded by God? We, being among those who have lived a lifetime as followers of Jesus Christ, doing our best to live as Jesus taught, look forward to the reward of eternal life in heaven. So then what about the person who did not know Christ, or perhaps never nurtured their relationship with God but later in life had a conversion experience that drew them to Jesus? They too, will be rewarded with eternal life. One might proclaim, “That’s not fair!” This is the way of God, it is real, merciful, and forgiving love. It is the love of God for all his people, whether they knew him all their lives or came to know him more recently. All who love God and follow the commandment of Jesus to love one another can live with the sure and certain hope that they will be one with God forever.
For us as Christians, this is one more reminder of the need to learn to love unconditionally, to not engage in judging another and most importantly that we work with our Church to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world. This is what we call evangelization and by our baptism we are called to a life of helping others to know Jesus. Certainly, this begins in our families, but we must also be conscious of the need to live it daily with all people, co-workers, friends, strangers, even our enemies. We are called to love all. And in our loving others, we are living out our baptism. Take time this week to think about how you have and how you will continue to share God’s love with family, neighbor, friend, and stranger. For in bringing others to Christ, you assist in opening the path to eternal life – yours and theirs. Have a great week!
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC