Jesus calls men to fruitfulness and the mysterious generosity of God in the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Obedience so he can be conformed to Christ’s Holy Catholic Church and be justified and by growing in the Virtue of Justice so he can strive to give God and every soul their due.
20th Week in Ordinary time – Wednesday – Mt 20:1-16; 25th Week in Ordinary time – Sunday – Cycle A – Mt 20:1-16a
Having told the disciples, “…many that are first will be last, and the last first” (Mt 19:30), Jesus delivers The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard, a stunning revelation of His infinite magnanimity and the conversion of hearts required for men to be accepted into the Kingdom of Heaven.
The parable describes God’s (Householder, Lord) tireless efforts to recruit men (laborers) to build His Kingdom (work in the vineyard). For those who respond to God’s call, there is Judgment (payment at the end of the day) and the reward of Heaven, a blessing of the Beatific Vision (a single denarii) of the totality of God. By God’s Grace, some men are blessed to convert early in their lives (the first) while other men don’t convert until their death bed (the last); both receive the same Beatific Vision of God in Heaven. Jesus requires men to rejoice in God’s generosity; those whose hearts are corrupted by pride, ingratitude, and envy will not enter the Kingdom (they are told to go).
Jesus’ amazing parable offers tremendous insights. Jesus relentlessly calls each man individually from idleness and helplessness, to the blessings of joining Him in building the Kingdom. Jesus purposefully challenges men to confront their self-centeredness and to rejoice in His infinite generosity. He wants men to face their ingratitude, pride, envy, and the false ideas of self-serving “justice”; these are the same evil delusions that causes Satan’s fall. Jesus desires for men to discard worldly concepts of merit, and to whole-heartedly take hold of the self-sacrificing work of the Gospel, reveling in the blessing of every saved soul. Though cordial in Judgment, Jesus will not admit those into the Kingdom of Heaven who cling to their selfishness, pride, ingratitude, and envy.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Rejoice in the tremendous news that Jesus, in His Divine Mercy, offers every man the opportunity for Salvation: Divine King, Jesus calls each and every man to become sons of His Kingdom (Vineyard); the perfection of Generosity (a part of Justice), Jesus liberally gives all willing men the chance to receive His blessings (denarius), giving all men the opportunity for Hope; the perfection of Kindness (a part of Justice), Jesus rebukes the envy and greed of men.
Obediently be conformed to the Church to be justified
Realize: In contrast to those who arrogantly make up their own moral codes and seek to justify themselves by attempting to make others conform to their own ideas of justice, Jesus reveals men often do not understand God’s justice and only God has the insight and power to justify men.
Believe: Reflect upon God’s Justice and Justification (CCC 271, 1040, 1861, 1953, 1987-1995, 2018-2020).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Judge, help me build the Virtue of Obedience (a part of Justice) so I make the unshakable commitment to submit to Your Holy Catholic Church, I strive to conform my thoughts, words and deeds to the teachings of the Church, and I rely on Your Passion to justify me, a poor sinner, through the Holy Spirit.
Strive to give God and every soul their due
Realize: Jesus, who is the Perfection of Justice, calls men to be just, and every Catholic man is called to give God and other men what is properly owed to them.
Believe: Review the Virtue of Justice (CCC 1805, 1807, 2446, 2487).
Pray: Jesus, the Perfection of Justice, help me build the Virtue of Justice so I always desire to be a just Catholic man, I constantly think about my actions, and I strive to give You and every soul what is justly due to them.