"Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Dealing With God

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 20.1-16, Jesus told his disciples what the Kingdom of heaven was like via a parable. A landowner went out to hire laborers for his vineyard throughout the day. They all agreed to work for the usual daily wage. When it was evening, the owner had the laborers summoned to give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first. At the end when the first saw that everyone got the same usual wage, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, "These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day's burden and the heat." He said to one of them in reply, "My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?"
        There are a number of things we can learn from this parable. 
        (1) God is generous to all.
        (2) He is entitled to do whatever he wishes.
        (3) We should be happy that he rewards us for our labor.
      (4) How others are rewarded is not our business. (In heaven, would you still grumble that someone up there had an easier life than you on earth?)
        (5) Being envious of others shows that we are not satisfied with God.
        (6) We are not in a position to question the Lord.
        (7) Be grateful to God for his mercy to all.

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