September 21, 2014 – Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Is 55: 6-9; Ps 145: 2-3, 8-9. 17-18; Phil 1: 20C-24, 27A; Mt 20: 1-16A
“What’s in it for me?” That may be a question we pose often. It is certainly part of our societal lexicon. Whatever may be proposed to us, by governments, advertisements, friends, and even our Church, our parish, we may well respond with something similar to that question, which put another way, can be phrased “What do I get out of this?”
That is surely a challenge when it comes to stewardship because the good steward’s motivation is supposed to be higher, done out of love, not lived because some reward is in the offing. Of course, there is a reward, and that is the point of today’s Gospel, a parable that frequently produces consternation. How can it be fair to pay those who began working late in the day the same as those who began working at the beginning of the day?
The Lord makes it clear what He means, however, with the closing statement, “The last will be first, and the first will be last.” The point is simply that the reward for living correctly, for loving and practicing stewardship, is eternal life with the Lord. We tend to think in terms of hours. God thinks in greater terms, and it is He to Whom we need to respond.