Benedictine Spirituality Christ Gospel Lectio Divina Scripture Uncategorized

Fairness and generosity.

Photo by Vindemia Winery on Unsplash

Today’s gospel is all about fairness and generosity. At the beginning of the day a landowner goes out to hire workers for his vineyard, offering them a fair price for the day’s work. He goes out again several times later in the day, right up to the 11th hour, and still finding idle workers sends them to his vineyard offering them “a fair wage”.

At the end of the day he tells his bailiff to pay all the workers the same amount, starting with the ones who came last. This causes some consternation to those who have been working all day, and they grumble that it’s not fair as they have worked longer and should receive more. They evoke our sympathy because we all know what it feels like to be treated unfairly. Yet, the vineyard owner takes a different view, saying to them:

“My friend, I am not being unjust to you; did we not agree on one denarius?… Why be envious because I am generous?

His words turn the situation on its head, challenging his workers, and us, to look at it from a different perspective. He calls us to look at our motivations and to acknowledge that there can be a thin line between our desire for fairness and envy. His generous action points out that generosity is a hallmark of the Kingdom. It compels us to reflect on where we can be generous towards those around us with both our material goods and our time.

Where is Christ calling you to act generously today?