Children, at times, question adult decisions when they are upset. Julie says to her mother, “What about Sam? He did the same thing yesterday, and you just talked at him for ten minutes! I got grounded!” She failed to add that Sam is three years younger and got a split lip when he landed on his face after jumping off the swing at the highest point of his ride…
Adults do it, too: using the actions of others to cover or distract from their own or comparing how they feel they are being treated. Those who study behavior have a term for this: “What about…” -ism!
In today’s Gospel from Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. (Remember that wine – fruit of the vine, work of human hands that will become our spiritual drink – is the actual fruit of their labors.) Those who worked the least part of the day get the same wage as those who labored from dawn. Can you hear the petulant whining: “What about MY wages? That’s not fair!” Jesus wants us to think of our lifelong search for salvation, or perhaps a search we just started.
The boundless love and mercy of the Father is always there for us, no matter when we realize it. And as we labor, we get so much more than a drink of water and a quick meal in whatever shade there is: with true belief and deep reverence, we get a foretaste of salvation. We receive the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior, Holy Eucharist, right here, right now! Find true joy in the rescue of every sinner. Wear your bright, shining humility when you pray, “O Lord, I am not worthy.”
Let Us Pray:
Dear God, I offer the ancient song of adoration, “Sicut cervus! Just like a deer, my heart leaps at every thought of you!” Amen.