Why do we work in the Kingdom of God?
The amazing message this Sunday is the generosity of the one who had called. God in his wisdom and goodness desires that everyone will work in his vineyard.
Everyone is called, but at different times, and all received the same pay. This event created the drama of the greatness of God and of the human littleness. Our focus could be on one or the other. But like many things that contradict each other, the under- standing of one may bring some light on the other. Focusing on God’s generosity and our call to be similar to him, we can leave behind all our weak- nesses and envy and try to rejoice for every soul who finds a place in the kingdom.
It is true that the work done by each is different. Equally true is that each has a diverse opportunity to answer the call according to the time they received. But in the eyes of a just man, they deserve a different pay. This is acceptable in this world in which many things are an equilibrated quid pro quo. People get paid for hours, for jobs done and according to a contract. It will be considered an injustice to receive the same pay for different amounts of work done.
In the Gospel, the Sitz im Leben is that in the Kingdom of Heaven, things will never be like they are in this world but will be better. With this perspective, let’s look to the complaint: These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat… at this we need to ask ourselves: why do we work in the kingdom? Because of its rewards? Or because of the glory of God? Like St. Ignatius’ motto: AMDG, abbreviation of Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (for the greater glory of God), meaning to strive to give God more glory by always doing what is more pleasing to him.
If we work only for the reward, we are like those who work from the beginning and should not com- plain because we have received the reward. But if we work for the Glory of God, then it will always be better when more and more people share with us the work of the kingdom, and they share with us the reward that is to live the glory of the Kingdom of God.
More people with the Lord is always better no matter in which moment of their life they or we started to There is also an important affirmation that I believe is important for the time we live: you have made them equal to us. Yes! God is the one who made all the workers equal in their reward, because in the end, even though they have different paths, they at their own time had arrived finally to God.
Let us give thanks for all those who work in the kingdom since the beginning of their life, and pray for those who start to arrive to work with us, and for all those who in the future will work in the Vineyard of the Lord.