On this weekend we hear a thought- provoking parable about the Kingdom of God. Through this Jesus teaches us how the kingdom of God is open to all, that our God is a generous God who desires to save all people, all nations. In the Gospel we hear of a landowner who is very different from how we think. Probably most of us naturally sympathize with the first group of workers. Our reaction generally is that those who have done more, who have given more, should get more. That is simple justice.
But the story tells the difference between God's perspective and ours. In other words, God's perspective is that of the owner, who gave some of the labourers more than what it seemed they earned. What this means is that we have to look at this story from a very different point of view. We notice what God’s justice is like. It is clearly stated in the First reading from the prophet Isaiah. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Another name for God’s justice is mercy and compassion. God wants all to be saved. God is generous in opening the doors of His kingdom to all who choose to enter, both those who have laboured a life-time for Him and those who come at the last hour.
So, rather than judging God for acting this way, we should be deeply grateful that our God is ready to receive us back at any stage once we express sorrow for our sins and wish to be reunited or united with Him in love. It teaches us that nothing God gives to us is our due. We have no right at all to receive the reward except by the mercy of God. Everything He gives us is pure gift from His abundant generosity and we cannot possibly earn it or deserve it. We should not be envious or jealous because God is generous to someone else. We labour for the Lord to give Him back a little through our praise, honour, and glory. And we labour for our neighbour for their welfare with the same spirit of loving-kindness and compassion which the Lord has shown to us.
Let us rejoice that eternal life with God is offered to all people, including the people whom we may find this difficult to accept. Let us persevere to change our thoughts and ways and see with God’s compassionate eyes. This parable is an invitation to experience the mind of God - to practice love and compassion without the narrow mindedness of thinking in terms of our pathetic understanding of justice.
Fr. Dantus Thottathil.