I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Reflection for Wednesday August 17, Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 20:1-16

Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16
Jesus told his disciples this parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. Going out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.’ So they went off. And he went out again around noon, and around three o’clock, and did likewise. Going out about five o’clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’ When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’ When those who had started about five o’clock came, each received the usual daily wage. So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’ He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
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A lady who is always envious of her neighbors would always complain to God why they are rich while she is not. Considering the fact that during weekends she is in the church doing volunteer work. Thus, she thought that God is being unfair to her. 

Months and years had passed, her complaint to God was still the same: “Why is it that they are rich while I am not?  Then, one night she had a dream and in that dream God said to her: You only measure the blessings that I bestow upon you by the money and properties that you possess.

God further said to her: Yes you are not blessed materially but look at your very successful and very well brought-up children. Look at your loving husband that has been faithful to you since day one of your married life. Look at your health, nobody amongst your family members has been to a hospital for health issues. Suddenly the woman had a realization that she was far more blessed by God than her neigbor.

The workers in the vineyard who worked early complained about wages and that is material wealth or money! They failed to realize that they were first assured of the day’s work by the landowner early of that morning. And surely it created already a guarantee that they have something to feed to their families for the coming days. Unlike those who came in late who were not assured until late in the afternoon that they would have money to buy food for their respective families.

When we account the blessings that God gives us let us not solely focus on money or any material wealth because we might complain also. Let us rather have a holistic appreciation of God’s blessings for us. Such as peace and good health in our respective family, faithfulness and tranquillity in our married life . Plus many more blessings that cannot be compensated by any amount of money. 

Are we not often times like the lady who envied her neighbors? Are we not often times like the workers in the vineyard who complained because they were so fixated on the wage that they had received? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

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