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Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings: Ezekiel 34:1-11; Psalms 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6; Matthew 20:1-16

My dear encountered couples:

“No one has hired us.” How sad! It was the custom for day laborers to gather in certain places in town and wait for someone to come along to hire them for work in the fields or for odd jobs that might pay enough to put food on their family’s table.

These men had been waiting around all day when the owner of an estate who had already hired many men that day to work in his vineyard decided to hire more. And so, he went back to the town square where he saw still other workers standing around. It was already late afternoon. “Why have you been standing here idle all day?” he asked them. “No one has hired us,” they told him. And he sent them on into his vineyard. I imagine they were very happy to get a job even if most of the day was gone.

It can be very sad not to have a job especially nowadays when we are facing an invisible enemy called coronavirus. It can be tragic when there are little ones to feed. We might think life would be wonderful to have nothing to do. We could lie around all day loafing or spending our time with our favorite hobby. We could read, watch TV, eat and be merry, the choice is ours. But what about money to pay for our needs? And for the needs of our family? Besides that, we were made to work.

When God created us, he put in us a desire to create things ourselves, to accomplish things, to do something worthwhile. Those who loaf, those who are lazy, are they happy? We all need something to make us feel we are contributing something good to the world. If you have work, thank God. Pray for those who don’t. May I also point this out.

In this parable, Jesus shows he is very concerned that employers pay their workers a living wage. Woe to those who don’t! Someday they will have to answer in person to God.

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