1. Is 55: 6-9
2. Phil 1:20-24. 27b
3. Mt 20:1-16a


In the first reading the prophet tells the exiles in Babylon and us too( we think the way they do).Let the evil man abandon his ways, his evil thoughts ( Is 55:70).The conversion he wants is not simply turning away from sin and corruption, he is asking for much more.  The prophet wants a radical change in our way of looking at God.  Lord says “ my thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways are not your ways, yes the heavens are as high above the earth as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts ( Is 55:8-9). Hence from the two verses let us listen to the message of the gospel.
From the gospel reading we see that the vineyard owner is so much concerned that nobody should be without work.  How is it that in our Christian communities we have people who act as if there is no enough work for everybody? Should all the work be done by the few? All labourers in the vineyard are being paid the same amount, starting with those who went early in the morning up to those who went to work in the vineyard in the midday. It is under this background of the vineyard master with his workers that we must look for the main teaching of the parable.
At the time of Jesus the people of Israel being under the instruction of priests had forgotten the God who was a good fatherly, loving, and forgiving God, and imagined a god who was remote, unforgiving and harsh judge. In life there are some people who think that they are safe before God, because they work a lot, they pray rosary daily, they attend morning mass daily, they keep the laws of God scrupulously and are convinced that every good deed they do is put down as merit in the heavenly book.  A time will come when they think that each one of us can demand what is his due from God. With this view according to the gospel, Jesus refutes this view/ idea of a God who pays according to merits (distributive justice). In this perspective, we can pose this simple question to ourselves that “how many people being crooked and wicked are living a promising and prosperous life than those who are righteous before God yet are living a miserable life, to an extent that even some are not in a position to afford a single meal per day?”
Jesus tells us that, our heavenly father cares and looks for those whose attitude is of child like. A child, who does not claim any right, can’t merit anything and who always expects his/her father to be kind to him / her. The first reading urges us that “ as the heavens are high above earth so are my thoughts are above your thoughts( thinking). In this gospel discourse, we are challenged by the fact that our attitude of thinking God as our business patterner/ an accountant / Master who pays every one according to their merits?? In fact we can merit nothing from God, from Him we can only receive- why not to rejoice, to be happy when one day those who go wrong in life, receive from God the gift of salvation?
In the Church of God there are those people who look and see their fellow brethren as unworthy before God, and consequently they expect to receive more because they were the first, yet today we are challenged by the gospel that we are all equal. Nobody is superior to anybody else. In our church today we have so many Christians who call themselves “veterans” (Experienced Christians in Christian teachings and Christian morality and other Christian virtues), they become barriers to others in working for the Kingdom of God, and such Christians affect the life of the entire group.
In the vineyard of the lord we volunteer our work, nobody will claim a salary higher than anyone else. No one will do good just to have a right to a reward in heaven. God is generous in opening the doors of his Kingdom to all who will enter, both those who have laboured a life – time for him and those who come at the last hour. As the reward is the same, the motive toward one’s labour can make all labours different. For example, some work for reward, some work for the sake of work, some work for an appreciation, some work for payments , other labour out of love, however little time they spent than those who had been at work earlier . We are all called to serve God with generosity and Joy.

Let us bear in mind that if God has blessed others greatly he also expects much of them. Remember the parable of the talents ( Mt 25:14-30) the one with five talents made more, the one with 2 talents made two more. To the one who has been given much , much is expected of him/ her. No matter what good fortune comes to others,  what matters  is to use everything for God’s Kingdom. We have to bear in mind that whatever we have in our life, yet God has got a plan for each one of us. Think of parents and children. Parents have different relationship with each child but love each child. Likewise, God deals differently with each one of us because he loves us in a way he knows better.

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Chapisha Maoni