Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16A
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,
the landowner 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,
the landowner 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.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Mass intention is for Thomas M’s intentions (Vigil Mass), Sr Anna Gallagher RIP (9.30am), and Catherine D’s intentions (11am).
In today’s Gospel, the workers who were employed first grumbled when they received their wage. Instead of being grateful, they envied the landowner for his generosity. Envy, as what we have been taught in the Catechism, is one of the seven deadly sins. There have been moments in our life when we behave like the disgruntled workers. We resent the blessings other people are enjoying. In our envy, we do our best to outdo what others have. If they have a new gadget, we buy a more expensive gadget. And if this is not possible, we hurt those we envy. Think about the Jewish leaders who plotted against Jesus. They did everything to discredit the Lord. Unless we get our envy sorted, it would make us farther away from Jesus. “[A]part from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). The cure for envy is being grateful.
- What is your reaction when a work colleague received a job promotion?
- How did envy affect your relationship with the Lord? With others?
- “If I keep my eyes open and my spirit alert, I will live in continual thanksgiving…How can I repay you, Lord, for filling my life with so many good things?” (Venerable Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan) How can you repay the Lord’s goodness?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. Forgive us for being envious of others. Open our eyes to see the blessings You give us. Keep our spirit alert to be grateful. Amen.