REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
September 20, 2020
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“Going out about five o’clock, he 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.’” Matthew 20:6-7
This passage reveals the fifth time in one day that the owner of the vineyard went out and hired more workers. Each time he found people idle and hired them on the spot, sending them to the vineyard. We know the end of the story. Those who were hired late in the day, at five o’clock, were paid the same wage as those who worked all day long.
One lesson we can take from this parable is that God is exceptionally generous, and it is never too late to turn to Him in our need. Too often, when it comes to our life of faith, we sit around “idle all day.” In other words, we can easily go through the motions of having a faith life but fail to actually embrace the daily work of building up our relationship with our Lord. It’s much easier to have an idle faith life than one which is active and transforming.
We should see, in this passage, an invitation from Jesus to get to work, so to speak. One challenge some people face is that they have spent years living an idle faith and do not know how to change that. If that is you, this passage is for you. It reveals that God is merciful to the end. He never shies away from bestowing His riches on us no matter how long we have been away from Him and no matter how far we have fallen.
Like the owner of the vineyard, God has called us all to His vineyard through the gift of faith and the sacrament of baptism. We discover that in our world today, those who are leaders or first to be converted expect themselves to be more gifted with the power of God. So, when the new converts seem to by waxing strong in the spirit, they become jealous and envious.
We are all called to one reward and that is heaven. So, no matter the time of conversion, all we need do is to be on our duties as Christians. That God rewards us equally no matter the time of conversion tells us that God’s thought are not our thoughts, and his ways not our ways.
Sometimes we get jealous and envious of others. But the more we focus on our blessings as God’s children, the easier it becomes to reject selfishness, jealousy and envious thoughts and behavior. May God’s generosity and great love for us allow us to see more clearly what it means to build up the kingdom of God on earth by acting more lovingly toward others
Reflect, today, upon the level of commitment with which you are living your faith. Be honest and reflect upon whether you are more idle or hard at work. If you are hard at work, be grateful and remain committed without hesitation. If you are idle, today is the day our Lord invites you to make a change. Make that change, get to work, and know that our Lord’s generosity is great.
Lord, help me to increase my commitment to living my life of faith. Allow me to hear Your gentle invitation to enter into Your Vineyard of grace. I thank You for Your generosity and seek to receive this freely given gift of Your mercy. Jesus, I trust in You.