Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: kingdom of heaven, landowner, hire laborers, usual wage, grumbled, last, first
To the point: This Gospel raises the question of who is first and who is last in the kingdom of heaven. Those laborers are last who shift their focus from doing the work of the landowner to grumbling about the amount of wages others are receiving. Those are first who do not labor in the vineyard because of the amount of wages, but simply because they are privileged to share in the work of the landowner. Indeed, simply being called to the privilege of sharing in Jesus' work of salvation is its own recompense. The kingdom of heaven is revealed by those who choose this work. Do we choose it?
Connecting the Gospel …
… to the First Reading: While Isaiah is telling one truth, namely, that God's thoughts and ways are not ours, Jesus is telling another truth, that we are called to participate in God's thoughts and ways by working for the coming of the kingdom.
… to experience: Being completely lost in something we enjoy doing very much is its own reward. How much more so when we stay focused on following Jesus faithfully!