With today’s meditation, we return to the usual framework of biblical reflections, with which I will continue as long as God allows me to carry out this valuable service.I would like to express my heartfelt thanks for the many messages we received after the meditations on God Father and the Virgin Mary. We are still in the process of compiling a list of those who have written to us expressing their desire to cooperate with us in the “work of love” of the Heavenly Father.
Once we have finished, we will give some guidelines on how you could join us even more for the glorification of the Father. We ask for a little patience until we can contact you… In the meantime, I invite you to follow the daily meditations. I hope that these will help all listeners to find in these confusing times a clear orientation, which is given to us in Holy Scripture, in the authentic doctrine of the Church and in sound spiritual teaching.
Let us then listen to today’s Gospel:
‘Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner going out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. He made an agreement with the workers for one denarius a day and sent them to his vineyard. Going out at about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place and said to them, “You go to my vineyard too and I will give you a fair wage.” So they went. At about the sixth hour and again at about the ninth hour, he went out and did the same. Then at about the eleventh hour he went out and found more men standing around, and he said to them, “Why have you been standing here idle all day?” “Because no one has hired us,” they answered. He said to them, “You go into my vineyard too.” In the evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his bailiff, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last arrivals and ending with the first.” So those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came forward and received one denarius each. When the first came, they expected to get more, but they too received one denarius each. They took it, but grumbled at the landowner saying, “The men who came last have done only one hour, and you have treated them the same as us, though we have done a heavy day’s work in all the heat.” He answered one of them and said, “My friend, I am not being unjust to you; did we not agree on one denarius? Take your earnings and go. I choose to pay the lastcomer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why should you be envious because I am generous?” Thus the last will be first, and the first, last.’
At first glance, the way in which God acts can sometimes seem quite incomprehensible to us, according to our human criteria. Thus, it can easily occur to us that we would agree with those who, after hard work, expected a greater reward than those who had only been working for an hour. Certainly we would also consider that a higher wage for the former would have been fair. However, that would only be to apply our human logic to the reality of the Kingdom of God, and that is precisely what the Lord wants to overcome with this parable!
In this context, I am thinking of a concrete example. Someone is a Catholic by birth, and since he can think, he has sincerely tried to keep the commandments of God and to serve the Lord. When he comes to Church, kneeling beside him is someone who has only recently found God, after having led an unrestrained and disorderly life. When the faithful are invited to receive communion, both come to the communion rail; the one who has been working in the Lord’s vineyard for a long time, and the other who has just begun. And both receive the same reward!
In this way we can understand that the Kingdom of God is first and foremost about love. God invites everyone to live and act in this love. It is the gift of his grace; the grace that we all live by: those who have been cooperating with it for a long time, as well as those who accept it just before their last breath…
God’s action is directed towards man’s salvation (cf. 1 Tim 2:4). All his efforts are aimed at man’s finding his way home, to enter the Father’s House, even if it is only at the last second of his life. If man accepts grace and turns to God, he will be saved.
That is why we cannot simply apply to the Kingdom of God the logic we take for granted in the „kingdom of man“. We are promised eternal life, if we keep God’s commandments and follow the Lord (cf. Mt 19:16-21). And here there can be no envy if someone reaches the Kingdom of God at the last moment. On the contrary: there should reign that joy of which Jesus speaks to us in the parables; the joy of the Father in recovering his lost son (cf. Lk 15).
God’s generosity, which allows even the last to enter His Kingdom, takes nothing away from our reward for having worked hard for Him, because our reward is God Himself, whom we will all receive!
In eternity there will be no more envy. Everyone will have reached perfection. No one will calculate all that he has done, nor compare whether he is at a disadvantage in relation to the other. Each will be infinitely grateful, and will praise God together with the angels and saints, and all will be filled with Him. And God will assign to each one his place….
This reality that awaits us must already permeate our earthly life, in which our heart, always in the process of conversion, must come to know God in His goodness ever better, and must allow itself to be shaped by Him. Then we will no longer examine whether what we have done is greater than the „efficiency“ of others, nor will we believe that we deserve a greater reward from God. On the contrary, we will feel more and more blessed and graced, and we will rejoice and strive so that others will also come to know God and live as His children.