Gospel of the day

Wednesday August 23, 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 20:1-16a.

Jesus told his disciples this parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. Going out about nine o'clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.' So they went off. (And) he went out again around noon, and around three o'clock, and did likewise. 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.' When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.' When those who had started about five o'clock came, each received the usual daily wage. So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. And on receiving it 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?' Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last."

Reflection

Commentary Saint Gregory the Great
We can apply these hourly periods to each individual person's life. Morning is the childhood of our understanding. The third hour can be taken as our youth, because the sun is advancing on high as the impetuosity of age increases. The sixth hour is that of young adulthood, because when we reach our full strength it is as if the sun is in the center of the heavens. The ninth hour we take to be old age, because like the sun descending from its zenith, this age lacks the warmth of youth. The eleventh hour is the age that is called infirm or old... Since then one person is brought to a good life in childhood, another in youth, another in young adulthood, another in old age, another at the age of infirmity, it is as if workmen are being called to the vineyard at different hours. Look at your conduct, my friends, and see if you are still God's workmen. Let everyone reflect on what he is doing, and consider whether he is laboring in the Lord's vineyard... One who has neglected to live for God up to the last period of his life has stood idle, as it were, up to the eleventh hour... “Why do you stand here all day idle?” meaning, “Even though you have not been willing to live for God in your childhood and young adulthood, at least come to your right mind in the final time of your life. Come to the ways of life”... Did not the thief come at the eleventh hour? (Lk 23,39f.) He possessed nothing by the length of his life, but he had something, coming late though it did, by his punishment. He confessed God on the cross, and he gave forth his last breath almost as he spoke. The householder began paying the denarius beginning with the last, because he called the thief to the repose of paradise before he called Peter.

All for the greater glory of God.

Developed by Edwin Dalaniel