Judges 9:6-15; Ps 21 Lord, in your strength the king is glad; Matt 20:1-16
Before we reflect on the readings here are a few words from St John Eudes
"Jesus belongs to you, but more than that, he longs to be in you, living and ruling in you, as the head lives and rules in the body. He desires that whatever is in him may live and rule in you: his breath, his heart in your heart, all the faculties of his soul in the faculties of your soul, so that these words may be fulfilled in you: Glorify God and bear him in your body, that the life of Jesus may be made manifest in you."
We look at story told of the tree looking for leader in today's first reading. It is worth mediating on. It offers a unique insight into what makes a good leader, in so far as, what is demanded of the leader who is chosen.
In each of the chosen trees, "olive, fig, grapevine" in order for them to be rulers of the other trees they would first have to give up their own identity, renounce themselves so that they might be completely dedicated to the care and concern of all the rest. None of the trees were willing to do so. None were willing to denounce themselves for the good of all the rest, but isn't this exactly what we expect in a true leader. Isn't this what we see in Christ himself!
But ultimate all human leadership is going to have its limitations. It is in the experience of this limitations that should ultimately direct our attention to our God that we might beg strength and wisdom from him.
The gospel we are asked to meditate on also illicit a variety of responses. Some love it and other are deeply bothered by it. The parable is that of the landowner who goes out hire laborers for his vineyard. He goes out and grabs workers throughout the day and upon hiring them he agrees to pay them a just wage.
In the end when it is time to get paid, those who were hired first begin to be angered over the fact that the last to be hired, those who worked only part of the day, get paid the same amount as those who began early in the morning.
Grumbling ensues and entitlement takes over. This sounds too familiar to our current state of affair.
The bottom line is that God is ultimately the one who determines what true justice is all about. Can we really legitimately complain about the justice of God? Who are we to demand our own sense of justice to met by him? After all, how often does our own sense of entitlement negatively affect our sense of justice as to what is owed to us?
God wants to save us from this false assumption that we know what is best for ourselves. The truth is we do not know what his best for ourselves. Original sin has colored our own sense of value and worth. We might error in this regard.
God cannot error. Should we not bow to his justice gladly.
"Are you envious because I am generous?"
In deed these are the words that should be ringing in out ears as we meditate on this passage. Time and time again we let our own sense of generosity lessen the generous nature of God.
Should we not rather pray that we are set free from our own notion of justice and truly surrender to His, a justice that is most perfectly manifested on the cross on calvary.