THE SERVANT GENERAL
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
THE LAST WILL BE FIRST
Today’s gospel: Matthew 20:1-16
In today’s gospel about the workers in the vineyard,
different workers put in different hours of work but get paid
the same wage at the end of the day. This was resented by
those who worked longer. “And on receiving it they grumbled
against the landowner.” (v.11). That seemed natural
enough, especially for those who worked 8 hours while some
others worked only one hour.
parable is about those who respond to Jesus’ call, at
whatever time in their lives or whatever time they have left
in their lives. All who respond will receive the same reward,
which is salvation and heaven. Is that unfair? Is that unjust?
No, for it is about the generosity and mercy of God who wills
all to be saved. God was not unjust to those who worked longer,
but rather was just to them while being merciful and generous
to those who worked less. “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?” (v.14b-15a).
there are those in Christian service who think like the early
workers, that those who do more or have been serving longer
should deserve more from God. Even James and John sought positions
of honor in the Kingdom, thinking they deserved these because
they were the apostles, the inner circle.
here should be the proper perspective: the work and sacrifices
themselves are their own reward. Those who are called earlier,
who serve earlier, who serve more, are those who are already
truly blessed. Those “who bore the day’s burden
and the heat” (v.12b) are those who are truly privileged,
being able to do more for the Kingdom of God and bring in
a bigger harvest.
for those of us who have come into the Kingdom first, for
those of us who have been serving for a longer time, for those
of us who are already in positions of leadership, we should
not think we are better or better deserving of reward than
those who have done less or have come later. Such a posture
has certain implications.
Senior leaders should not begrudge the emergence of junior
in leadership position should be open and willing to yield
to new and less experienced leaders.
serving much should not disdain those serving less, if both
are for the benefit of the community or Church.
we must always rejoice with each and every conversion. We
should work until our last breath to bring in that last person.
We should be looking to the privilege of longer and more service.
We should not be envious of the blessings of others. “Are
you envious because I am generous?” (v.15b). We should
look to our Master, not to our co-workers. We must willingly
embrace the cross.