Scripture Readings: Isaiah 55.6-9; Philippians 1.20-24,27; Matthew 20.1-16
“So the last will be first and the first will be last.” – Matthew 20.16
The vineyard owner in Sunday’s gospel has a unique pay scale. The owner pays the full-day wage to those who find work only at the last hour. Some will perhaps count these workers as the laziest and resent that they receive the day’s wage the need to feed their families. In effect, this owner shows a preferential option for the least, for the people most in need. This is a basic principle of liberation theology.
The householder’s largesse invites us to ponder who this employer really is. As an image of God, the householder is not transcendent and distant but repeatedly seeks out workers in the market place and cares enough about their well-being to pay the living wage. We workers all stand in the same relationship to God, who owns the vineyard of all creation, resources for all to live.
When have you received more than you deserve? How like the vineyard owner is your God?