Sep 142011

By Father Andrew Kelly

The God that Jesus reveals in the Scriptures can be difficult. Often God does not come up to human standards and expectations as in Sunday’s Gospel story: (Matthew 20:1-16)

All of the baptized are called to work in the Lord’s vineyard.  The vineyard is the Christian community in mission announcing through word and deeds the arrival of God’s kingdom. That work began the day of baptism. Many workers have sweated long and hard in living and announcing Jesus’ kingdom mission.

Others come late to the mission. What gets God into trouble is that all are equally loved and shown the same mercy and compassion: “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.”

Jesus’ story forces the Christian community to reflect upon God. Is the community comfortable with the God who loves and showers mercy and compassion unconditionally upon every human being? 

Or do Jesus’ concluding words apply: “…I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?”

(Father Andrew Kelly is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Mechanicsville.)

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