Prayer: O Jesus, You are a generous employer. Let me serve you faithfully.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his disciples.)
This parable is about the Kingdom. As the day goes on, the men grow discouraged. They stop seeking work and “sit around idle.” The owner’s constant going to the marketplace shows the importance of the Kingdom.
Paying the last workers first, reveals the parable’s meaning – the unbelievable generosity of God. The important sentence is, “Are you envious because I am generous?” (20:15) Notice that all the workers, first and last, are present at the final scene. This is the final Judgment when the undeserving (but repentant) people are admitted to the kingdom. The parable reveals how God acts.
Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
The kingdom of heaven is like an owner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. After agreeing upon the daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. He went out at the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did likewise. At the eleventh hour, he found others. “Why are you standing idle?” They said, “No one has hired us.” He said, “You also, go into my vineyard.”
When evening came he told the steward to call the workers and pay them, beginning with the last ones. These received a full day’s wages. The first also received a day’s wages but felt they should receive more. So, they murmured against the owner, saying that they had suffered the heat of the day.
The owner replied, “Friend, I do you no wrong because I agreed on a day’s wages. Cannot I give to the last what I give to you? Or, are you jealous because I am generous?”
Thoughts (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The owner continually goes to the marketplace. He wants everyone to have a chance to work in the vineyard.
- He surprises everyone by the generous gift of a full day’s pay.
- He has no interest in making a profit. The vineyard exists to bless the unemployed and helpless.
- Should not all rejoice that every worker had money for his family?
- This parable portrays Judgment Day, when all come before the Master of the Vineyard and each will realize how little they have worked.
- All the elect will hear Jesus’ words, “Enter into the Kingdom.”
- The parable reveals heaven. At the Final Judgment all will see the generosity of God.
Affections (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- You search for me, Lord, all day and every day.
- In my youth, in my middle years and even in my final days, you say, “Go into my vineyard.”
- Jesus, why are you so zealous for me? What do you see in me that I do not see?
- You arrange everything for my salvation. Nothing is left to chance.
- At the end of my life, You will say, “You have done enough.” (when really I have done so little).
- O Jesus, you will reward me beyond all my expectations.
- “Who is like to you, O Lord?”
- You search for me because you want me to be with you.
Resolutions (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will listen for God’s special words, “Go into my vineyard.”
- I will imitate God’s generosity, rewarding others beyond what I owe them.
Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)
Am I not free to be generous with my money?