A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work?

Fr Antonio Pineda
Assistant Parish Priest

If given just a quick reading, this Sunday’s Gospel seems very unfair. Why should those who worked for just a few hours get paid the same amount as those who had been working for so much longer? Today, many of us get paid by the hour. Imagine if you discovered that your colleague who works just part time gets the same wages as you who works full time! Quite rightly, you’d be inclined to complain!

So what is the message that we should get from this Sunday’s Gospel? Well, the passage is really about the grace of God. It is nearly impossible for us to fathom the grace of God. For a start, it is free and we cannot earn it, no matter how early we show up in the vineyard. Also, it is given to all who respond to the divine invitation. And take note: the same grace is given to all. You see, we are all on different journeys. For some, the journey is short while for others, the journey is a lot longer. For some of us, the right moment has not yet come, or the right elements have not fallen into place. We stand on the edge of faith, peering in, wondering how those already giving their entire lives to God can do so. What has touched them to do so, and how can we do the same? When can we do the same?

This Sunday’s Gospel tells us that we, too, will be paid in full. We, too, will be given God’s complete love. Even when we come rather late to the table. There will always be plenty of food on the table waiting for us.