In today’s Gospel Our Lord reminds us that it doesn’t matter when we start to help to extend the Kingdom of heaven, but that we extend it. We’ll be rewarded fairly, even generously, for our labors, and we shouldn’t fall into envy if it seems someone has had an easier time of it or came late to the party. In Jesus’ time a day’s wage was exactly that: it enabled the worker to live for a day. There was not much surplus wealth, and charging someone interest for borrowing something was a sin known as usury.
The workers who came late to the vineyard needed a full day’s wage in order to provide for themselves and for their families. Anyone who is trying to support their family through a part time job knows it is not the same as a full time job. The landowner is helping people who really need it. An attitude of envy sees someone else’s gain as our loss. We should be thankful for the ability to earn a living for ourselves and our families, and also be grateful when someone else in difficulty receives a little help too.
Let’s count our blessings today and be thankful to Our Lord not only for the blessings we receive, but for those he has given to others as well. That’s the best remedy to envy.
Readings: Judges 9:6–15; Psalm 21:2–7; Matthew 20:1–16.