Evangelium: Mt 20, 1-16a
The story of the workers in the vineyard follows the encounter of Jesus with the rich young man. This context is interesting, because Jesus has just told the young man to give up all he has and become a disciple. As we know, the man turns away sadly.
Then Peter pipes up, observing that the Twelve have done exactly what Jesus asked – give up everything to follow him. –“What will we get for that?“ Peter asks. Jesus assures him the reward of disciples is great. Then he tells this story of the vineyard workers.
The jaws of the disciples must have dropped. You mean – we can hear them saying to themselves – you mean we who have been with you from the start get the same wages as those who cast their lot with you in the end? Forget sitting at Jesus‘ right or left—they would end up in the bleachers with everyone else!
This is the Problem with God. Divine justice sounds terribly unfair by our standards. Our thoughts are not God’s thoughts, and our scales weigh Things out quite differently. For most of us, needless to say, this is our only hope.