Jesus told his disciples this parable:
The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o’clock,
he saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.’
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o’clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o’clock,
he found others standing around, and said to them,
‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’
They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.’
When those who had started about five o’clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
‘These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’
He said to one of them in reply,
‘My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?’
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.
— Matthew 20:1-16
The peace of the Lord be with you. The generosity of God continues to be the theme in our Gospel today. God calls all people, not just a few. We are all His children. Due to forces we do not fully understand, some of God’s children hear and respond to His call early in life, while others may need more time. Those of us blessed to hear that call early are fortunate to know the joy and peace of knowing God walks with us. This a great and very valuable reward. For those with greater struggles it is possible they may not be able respond to God’s invitation until the last moment, but isn’t it wonderful that they too may not be separated from the source of all life and light for eternity. That they also get the fair days wages, the joys and bliss of heaven.
Loving Father, thank you for your understanding, grace, and generosity. Through your goodness may we all be saved from the oppression and illness of sin. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.