“Divine goodness and human envy.” This would be a good title for Jesus’ parable about the workers in the vineyard. If the kingdom of God is a vineyard and our life is only one day, what time did you start working? Since the morning, at 9:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM? It doesn’t matter. The most important thing is that we are already working in the Vineyard of God
When we are unemployed it is a fortune to find work because for justice we will receive support. Well, what about those who don’t have job, those who are still looking for a job. This parable of the workers in the vineyard is help for all of us. We move from justice to mercy; and the first workers move from justice to envy.
The first who had started about five o’clock, thought that they would receive more, but when came, each received the usual daily 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. The answer is yes, and yes. He is God, he is the Landowner and they are envy people.
If I think more about my salvation than about the situation of poor people that are looking meaning in life, I need to take this parable seriously. There are many unemployed who need to work in the Vineyard of God. I should be happy if God treats them with kindness and mercy.
~ Fr. Chesco