What’s my cut in all of this? This kind of question comes to mind when I read this weekend’s gospel. Each worker receives the same wage not because they earned it but because it was given to them. The workers who started in the morning agreed to the daily wage but after seeing workers come in to the vineyard they might think that more will be given to them.
In my last year of the seminary I was the equivalent of a resident assistant and I was responsible for making sure that our common area was clean and usable. After a long day I was ready to go to my bedroom and get some rest. I walked by the common area and it was a pit. I had one of two decisions: clean it up or go to bed and let someone else take care of it. My thought was: ‘a deacon should not have to clean up someone’s mess.’ Then I remembered that a deacon is meant to be a servant in their community. In that moment I got over the temptation of having the thought that I deserve something from someone else and cleaned up the lounge.
Entitlement is a dangerous attitude because it puts unjust conditions on relationships. Everyone is susceptible to this temptation and we must counter it with an attitude and thanksgiving to God. I remember speaking to a priest about one of his parishioners. This parishioner is a very successful pharmacist and the priest said: “That man recognizes that everything is a gift from God.” I hope and pray that this weekend’s gospel will remind us that God’s love is not something that we earn but is freely given to each and every one of us.
In Christ, through Mary,