Beads of Joy 08-18-10
The Last Shall Be First
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
Another fantastic parable to reflect upon today. This seems to be a week of parables, how fortunate we are to have such a loving and caring Savior. Today we are reading and reflecting upon Matthew 20:1-16 (The Parable of the Workers in The Vineyard). Jesus has taught us to never despise anyone who is wealthy, only that we pray for them to repent, that way instead of being last, they stand a chance at being first. There is so much wisdom in God's words for us to gain from. This parable can be a reflection of time in our lives. In other words the "morning", "the third hour", "the sixth hour", and "the eleventh hour", represent the longevity of our lives. The morning being the start and the eleventh being just before our death. And in this case the eleventh hour was just before the work day ended. The whole message seems to be telling us, that no matter when we come to Jesus, we are equal with all those who came before us. That time line can also be interpreted as "all of time". This is the wonderful, fun, exciting, joyful part that I enjoy so much in a parable.
Why is it so true that like in this parable, people get jealous of others who work less and yet receive the same reward? The generosity our Lord has for us is filled with so much love. Jesus simply wants to give all of us the same exact reward of being with Him in Heaven; no matter if we spent our entire life worshiping and honoring and loving Him, or if we asked for forgiveness on our death bed. Who are we to say what He can and can't do? God knows our hearts, our intentions, our reasons for the things we do. Deceiving Him and living the best of both worlds shouldn't be our objective, figuring "Oh if I can receive the same reward, I will wait for the eleventh hour to repent." That is truly arrogant presumption on our part to try to live that way. God knows why and what we are doing, we can not deceive God, He knows everything. We will have to answer to Him about that, should that be how we live our lives? I think not.
Do we work diligently when we are at work? Or are we worried more about the other worker next to us and how they are treated? Do we have to compare everything we do with someone else? Or can we live a life fully devoted to Him and only ask for Him to save us, and mind our own business when it comes to the love and sincerity of a merciful God. To me our job if you want it consider it a job, should be to draw others to our Lord. Help them see our Lord's love, kindness and mercy. Once they see and feel and know our Lord personally, they to will fall deeply in love with Him like we have. Who cares if they find Jesus at the third, the sixth, or the eleventh hour; we need to praise and thank God they found Him. Period.
We are all called by God, to serve Him, to love Him and to honor Him, and to love and serve others. Our actions and concerns for everyone should always be filled with Joy. In the end all that will matter is that we are with Him in eternity. We must do all we can to help everyone be there to, no matter what hour of the day or our life they come to Him. We need to put all judgment aside and stop picking and chosing who we want to go to Heaven. LOL.. Opps did I hit a nerve? We have all been there with that, I admit it first, I know I have. That judgement is for God alone. We are here for the sole purpose of building His kingdom. Let us do just that. If we love Him first and foremost in our lives, the only thing we should be concerned about is helping guide others to His love. Take up this challenge with me: Pray today for the one person in your life, or in the life of someone you know or love who is a thorn in your side; and ask God to fill their heart with His Love and Joy. Pray that God's will in their life comes to life for them. Pray that their eyes are open. Pray that they to pray, "Jesus, I trust in You."
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO