“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace;and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.
When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.
Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’
But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
At the end of the movie “Dead Man Walking,” death row inmate Matthew Poncelet thanks Sr. Helen Prejean for simply “loving him.”
We live in a world that is obsessed with data and measurement from which we draw conclusions and notions about ourselves and others. Yet there are limits to all this.
God’s unconditional love has no such limits. It transcends data, measurement, quantification, and even our own imagination. It has no terms or conditions. Rather God’s love consists of ongoing mercy, compassion, humility, and service.
For us to share in God’s kingdom we have to get past “daily wages,” who earned what in comparison to who etc., and love unconditionally as Jesus taught us. Can we do this?
—Dr. Sajit U. Kabadi is a chair of the Theology Department at Regis Jesuit High School in Colorado.
Thank you for loving me.
—Dr. Sajit U. Kabadi