First Reading: Ezk 34:1-11; Psalm: 23. R. v. 1; Gospel: Mt 20:1-16a
MERITED BY GRACE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The gospel reading of today reminds us that we do not merit anything. All that we 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 felt 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 his 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 get. We are called to be faithful in our services as believers in Christ not counting the miles we have covered lest we beginning to think we have done so much and relax in the race.
As Christians, it is not what we know that matters but what we believe. What we know cannot save us but what we believe can. The first sets of labourers were too sure they will be rewarded more but got disappointed finally. The labourers employed at the close of the day worked hard believing they will be paid well and it happened so. 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 himself. And the reward we get at the end of day is not by merit but by grace.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, we ask for your grace to witness to the gospel always for the sake of our love for you. Amen.
Uche Edah Philip