Last Will Be First and First, Last

On 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A the Gospel Reading is taken from Matthew 20:1 – 16. It is another of Jesus’ ‘tricky parables’ brought to us by Matthew.

Just as with all other parables, there are different ways of understanding the meaning of this particular parable. What does it mean for you this year? Is it inviting you to consider the equality of all persons or to reflect on the harm envy can bring to relationships? Do Jesus’ words challenge a popular worldview that views someone’s worth on their economic production or on the amount of work/ministry they do? Perhaps it gives an opportunity for followers of Jesus to think about what is a fair wage today for work done?

As we go about our daily tasks and work in the coming week, let’s remember the workers standing idle at this time because they’ve lost their jobs during the pandemic or are among the millions of migrants and refugees sitting idle in refugee camps or detention and being denied the right to work. Let’s remember also the millions of workers trafficked, exploited and denied a just wage in fields, factories and ‘other vineyards’ today.

Perhaps this week we can make an effort to be grateful rather than grumbling about life!

The following thoughts by Veronica Lawson RSM and Claude Mostowik MSC are offered to help break open the Gospel text this week and help us tune into God’s call or invitation.