Wanting To Be The Boss
Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
My dear encountered couples:
It is not easy to always realize that everything we have is a gift from God. Life itself is his first gift to us. He then gives us talents and abilities along with desires and incentives to use them. The strength and energy needed for all this is from him. Any success that comes from our efforts is totally due to his permission and love. Heaven itself is the final gift.
This is what Jesus tries to teach in this parable. The men who were hired were lucky. The job was a gift to them from the owner of the estate. He supplied the vineyard, the opportunity to work in it, and the reward for their labor. Without him they would have had nothing. They should have been grateful. Unfortunately, many of them tried to take over the owner’s position of control. Do we not find ourselves trying to do that very same thing in regard to God?
After God supplies us the world, the opportunity to live and work in it, the promise of heaven after our lives here come to an end, do we find ourselves thinking we can better judge who is worthy of God’s goodness and generosity. There is the temptation for Christians to usurp God’s rightful place of authority. It is called “spiritual jealousy.” Why should someone who has a deathbed conversion get to go to heaven when I’ve devoted my whole life to God? Wasn’t that the same complaint of the elder son when his father treated his prodigal son to a festive banquet? Be aware of your thoughts. Rejoice in God’s goodness to others. Surely they don’t deserve it. But neither do you. None of us deserve any of it. Don’t be envious because God is generous. Instead, be grateful.