vineyard3Imagine those first comers, the ones who had worked hard all day in the severe heat, saying, “Isn’t it fantastic that the landowner gave the men who came late a full day’s pay? We were concerned that they wouldn’t have enough for their families’ needs. We realize that some of them are no-hopers but we can go home happy and content now because we all have enough for our needs.” Who on earth would think like that? Saints – and isn’t that what we are called to be.
 
Imagine how our society would operate if the genuine good of all was the true guiding principle for the way we treated all, especially the marginalised. Imagine:
 
If we truly sought the rehabilitation of prisoners and the real protection of society, we wouldn’t talk in terms ‘paying a debt to society’ or of ‘punishment’ but rather of being rehabilitated to live well in society…then if violent offenders didn’t choose to be rehabilitated then they choose not to live in society.
 
If we truly sought to give the disabled a meaningful involvement in the community, then we would offer work they could do even if it meant we had to be patient and adapt to their needs. Yes, you did read that right, we adapt to their needs and stop expecting them to live up to our abilities.

 
If we truly saw the need of asylum seekers to be integrated members of society, then we would endeavor to bring them into our local community with the offer of work.
 
It is no easy task being laborers in God’s vineyard! Emptying ourselves of our own wishes and desires, our own focus on our way of doing things. To be faithful, we must immerse ourselves in God’s thoughts and ways.  We are to put others first, to forgive with no strings attached.
 
Yes, I admit the above sounds idealistic but this is our calling as Christians. We are the recipients of the largesse of a generous God and God seriously expects us to be God-like in our generosity. St Catherine of Siena said “You have only truly received a gift from God when you have given it away.”
 
 

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