Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Better than or better for

Judges 9:6-15; Ps 21 Lord, in your strength the king is glad; Mt 20:1-16

We listen today to the parable Jesus gives us the workers in the vineyard. The workers are picked up throughout the day and at the end of the work day the last ones hired get paid first and they get paid the same amount as those who worked all day.

The workers who started early in the day began to complain about the unfair treatment.

How dare they get paid the same amount though they did more work?

For them it seemed unfair according to their standards of just compensation.

But perhaps that is the problem not just with them but with us.

We all go around judging things based on our own hidden agenda or hidden standard or just and unjust without stopping to ponder what is just in regards to God's goodness.

We get to busy defending our standard rather than standing a defense for goodness that comes forth from God's standard.

We often get caught up in comparing ourselves to others and exaggerating how we are better than they are or just better than rather than shifting our focus where we are better for them.

This is the line of standard Jesus introduces us to in today's gospel.

Are we busy making ourselves better than the next guy or better for the next guy?

Only when we set aside those childish attitudes of comparing our selves to others or wanting to be better than other can we begin to shift our focus and our energy to that which is more constructive: being better for the other person that better so that we can aid them and help them and guide them forth.

Thus we can truly rejoice when goodness enters the lives of others and stop calculating how we have been cheated and start calculating how we can be helpful.

In the end we don't get what we deserve at least we hope we don't. rather we get simply because God gives and our life is always a seeking after to return the favor and return the generous offer laid at our feet.

This is how we live out the words of St. Paul, to restore all things to Christ that is to renovate the world and seek its original beauty.


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