HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A.
HOMILY THEME: WHY BE ENVIOUS BECAUSE I AM GENEROUS
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
In the day’s Gospel Jesus tells the parable of the labourers in the vineyard. It is a difficult parable because of the seeming injustice done by the landowner. The landowner hired labourers for his vineyard at different times of the day. However, at the end of the day, everyone received the same wage equivalent to the daily wage. Jesus constructed the parable in such a way that those who were hired the earliest will know it by letting the landowner attend first to those who were hired the latest. Naturally, those who were hired first complained. The landowner claimed to just being generous.
God is generous as well as just. From the very start, the landowner was clear. He agreed with those he hired regarding the wages and he gave them the required wage at that time. While the first ones worked longer hours compared to the others, they were given a just wage. To the others, the landowner chose to be generous. The wages stand for God’s graces. God will not give us graces which will satisfy our needs. How long we had prayed, been faithful, been good, do not necessarily determine the graces we will be given. Besides, we ought to see that being good, faithful and prayerful, are already graces in themselves. Thus, for those who became worthy later, hey would not be deprived of the fullness of God’s graces.
This should become clearer when we speak of salvation. There is no such thing as conditional or partial salvation. It is either you are saved or not. Jesus made mention of prostitutes, murderers, and other sinners who will be saved ahead of the religious leaders because they repented while the pharisees and scribes continue to be hypocrites. One who repents would receive the fullness of salvation.
But is it not unfair? To us, it may seem unfair. Those who will repent after a long life of sinfulness will also receive the same grace of salvation like those who had lived well and in God’s favour? But to God, He is just being generous. However, upon closer scrutiny, we should be able to see that living a good life is already a grace. Living in sin is to be deprived of graces. The suffering one goes through in a life of sin is punishment in itself. In the end, what is important is for all of us to be saved. We should be happy knowing that even if we had lived a life of sin, we still can receive the fullness of salvation. Who knows, the one who was hired last maybe us or anyone we love.
Thus, instead of complaining,we ought to be thankful that God is generous.