22 Aug

Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 20:1-16 – TWENTIETH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Wednesday, 22 August 2018

We can read this parable on two levels: why Matthew put it in his Gospel; and what its significance is for us.

Matthew probably includes this parable because of a local conflict between the Jewish Christians who had entered the Church first and the burgeoning number of later Gentile entrants. Jesus’ words that the last to come are as important as the first to arrive are a lesson to Church stalwarts that all people are invited to drink deeply from the living water.

We read this parable to learn that closeness to the Kingdom, our personal holiness, is not determined by how long we have been Christians or, as Ezekiel (see the first reading) reminds us, by our rank in the community. Closeness to the Kingdom is determined by how responsive we are to the Lord’s call. The point of the parable is not how long the laborers worked but that they answered the call.

It is not status, age or function but closeness to the Lord that gives a person spiritual power.

Jakarta, 22 August 2018

A Christian Pilgrim


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