First Reading: Jgs 9:6-15; Psalm: 21. R. v. 2a; Gospel: Mt 20:1-16a
GOD’S UNMERITED FAVOUR
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The gospel reading of today reminds us that we do not merit anything. All that we’ve got from God is out of his grace. The first set of labourers employed at the early hours of the day were paid equal amount with those employed at the close of the day. They grumbled and protested that they were treated unjustly but the owner of the vineyard reminded them that he only kept to the agreement. This clearly indicates that we do not deserve what God gives us because they are given out of the goodness of God’s heart. What God gives is not a pay but a gift. It is not a reward but grace.
There is no seniority in Christianity. We are all equal in God’s sight. The whole essence of the Christian calling is for us to witness to the gospel in the spirit of love for God and neighbour and not primarily for the reward that we hope to receive. We are called to be faithful in our services as believers in Christ, not counting the miles we have covered lest we begin to think we have done so much and become complacent in the journey of faith.
As Christians, it is not what we know that matters but what we believe. What we know cannot save us; what we believe can. The first sets of labourers were too sure they would be rewarded more but got disappointed at the end of the day. The labourers employed at the close of the day worked hard believing they would be paid well and the pay they received far exceeded their expectations. Let us keep running the race of the faith looking unto God alone. For in the final analysis we are not the ones to reward ourselves but God. And any reward we get at the end of day is not by merit but by grace.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, help us to be faithful witnesses of the faith and to be grateful for all we have received from you. Amen.