August 19, 2015
(St. John Eudes, Priest)
“Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Mt_20:1-16
Jesus, in describing the Kingdom of Heaven, told a parable about a bunch of unemployed men waiting to be hired out, for a day at a time. As you can imagine, some were all dressed up in their work clothes, standing at the edge of the curb, anxiously awaiting the best seat on the next bus that rolled into the bus stop. Behind them were the less aggressive ones and then, of course, there were the hopeless ones, the lazy ones, and those who just physically couldn’t stand that long. One by one they were chosen for work. And by the end of the day there were only a few left. The lazy ones took off for the local pub. The hopeless ones went back home to bed. And the unnoticed ones who patiently waited and waited, were finally chosen.
In the meantime, those ‘go-getters’ were working their tails off so they could get higher and better and richer and more famous than any of those ‘low-lives.’ And sometimes the only way they could get there, was to make sure they did the best they could to diminish everyone else. So of course when pay time came, there was the comparison, the greed, the anger, the thought of the injustice of it all, because those “low-lives” got the same reward as they did!
Jesus’ point was that our God is a generous and merciful God.
It doesn’t say that hard work is a bad thing. But it also doesn’t blame those who, for no cause of their own, have a hard time fitting into the “world’s” standards of appearance or behavior – even though they may be just as hard a worker!
And the secondary point is that our judgment and criticism of others has absolutely no place in God’s Kingdom. As a matter of fact, it’s highly likely that on the next day, those complaining ‘go-getters’ might just have been the last to be chosen, if they hung around at all. And you could probably bet that they would be the first to take off for the pub, instead of patiently waiting, like the rest.
So where are we beloved?
With patient waiting, even though we may be last, Jesus tells us, we will be FIRST! So hang in there and God bless us all!
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