Twenty-Fifth Sunday Ordinary Time
Philippians 1:20-24, 27
I beg you Jesus, next time, please pay those workers who worked all day, pay them first! They would have gotten their pay and gone home, they would never have known what you paid the others. I say this because this is the least of my favorite gospels to preach on because I get just as upset as you when those who worked all day in the hot sun got paid just as much as those who worked only one hour. I scream, “Not fair!” and it is not fair. To make matters worse, I have to find something that is good news for us to live by in our lives. Thanks, Jesus!
The parable is not about the wages! So if we are going to get upset about what is not the truth, maybe we will get just as passionate about what is the truth in our readings. The readings are perfect for us today because we have been talking lately about reconciliation and forgiveness. This week we are going to talk about God’s abundant goodness and his generosity.
What we know about God’s generosity is shared with us by the prophet Isaiah when he says, “Seek the Lord, while he may be found, for my thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways.” Well, we can all certainly agree on that can’t we now? Think of what we did last night? Or what we said or what we thought? Our ways are most certainly not God’s ways! (Story of Comcast guys)
In our Gospel, it is evident we do not understand God’s generosity when the workers who worked the shorter day got paid a full day’s wage, those who worked a full day expected more money. They felt entitled to something more. The full-day workers say, “You made them equal to us!” It is not about the money it is being made equal to someone we do not want as our equal.
Those who only worked a few hours when asked, “Why do you stand by here idle all day?” They respond, “Because no one has hired us.” That is the same as “No one has invited us back. No one thought we were their equal and cared enough for us?”
My friends in Christ, I have always preached that we are the ones who were hired last, but now I think we are the ones who were hired first. We are the ones who have been working all day in the hot sun; we are the strong ones, the best workers. Then why do not invite those who are not equal to us back? The Eucharist we celebrate is about a thanksgiving of God’s generous love for us, may we live in God’s graciousness for us and know of his great mercy.