Daily office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 7: Year 2
“And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” (Matthew 20:11 and 12)
This parable of Jesus explains that those who come to the Table late in their lives are just as entitled as those who were there from the beginning. The first had gone through much religious turmoil but they persevered. The late comers came to the table late in life but were just as needy as those who came early. God, in Christ Jesus, looks upon the human heart and accepts those of us who are penitent and genuine in our belief as made manifest by our behavior, whenever we transform.
There is another lesson I glean from this passage. The land owner recognizes that each unemployed man represents a family that is going without what it needs because of the husband and or father not having work. Rather than just give them unearned money, the land owner has found a way to give dignity to heads of households. The early comers, it seems, did not want the late comers to have what was needed for their families. The lesson for me is, that if I have enough for me and mine, I should not begrudge anyone else who also has what they also need, even if they did not put in as much as I did. No one was promised more than the daily wage. The daily wage paid rent and put food on the table. The land owner found a way to care for families without simply “giving” them money.
I pray we have such a Landowner today who could help Ukraine and Russia solve their problem. Is it jealousy? Is it greed? I think Ukraine is a late comer to freedom and democracy who just wants, and needs, a daily wage. Let us welcome them, and help them if we can.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John