Our ways are not God’s ways says Ezekiel in today’s first reading. This statement is made very evident in the Gospel. The landowner in the parable treats those who worked only one hour the same as he treated those workers who worked all day in the hot sun. At first this seems very unjust until the landowner points out that the ones who worked all day were given a fair days wage and he is just being generous to the ones who worked for the shorter times. There are many, myself being one of them, who still find some issues with this parable. Shouldn’t the landowner have been generous to the ones who worked all day as well and given then a bit of extra money since they put in so many hours? If we go back again to the first reading we will see that the “wage” that God provides to us is not subject to quantities as money is. Ezekiel states that God “is generous in forgiving.” Forgiveness is either all or nothing, so those who repent and turn to God later in life will be treated the same on judgment day as those who followed the will of God all of their lives. When we look at the parable from this perspective we can all agree that sounds very fair. I, for one, know that I have yet to conform my will to the Father fully in my life and I am happy that when I finally do, I will be treated the same as those saints that devoted their entire lives to God. So when God finds you standing idle in the marketplace, even if it is later in your life, it may be wise to respond to that call so that you too may receive your wage of forgiveness and share in the reward of eternal life.
Your servant in Christ