Saturday, September 17, 2011

The First will be Last...

When we adopted our sibling group of 7 almost 2 years ago, our children immediately formed groups. Depending on the day, they were all equal brothers and sisters. If there was any kind of dispute, they split up into the ones who were here first and the new ones. No longer just brothers and sisters adopted by Shawn and I, they made artificial parameters about who was more important or had more say in decisions based on what they believed was fair. OH MY, the arguments we could have. I am so glad that we don't always have to make decisions based on their immature reasoning and feelings and instead get to rely on more objective and impartial standards. Shawn and I just want what is best for all the kids...we have known all along that however long we have had the pleasure of parenting them, they are not our children. They are Gods and He is pretty impartial and loves all of us equally.

Sunday's Gospel gives us a glimpse of our Lord's reasoning for us as more superior to our own petty jealousies and concerns. Why do the laborers hired last who only worked a little get paid first and as much as the workers who toiled all day...Because the landowner wanted all the workers to get equal pay and enjoy the fruits of their labor equally. Does the worker who only worked an hour not have the same needs as the one who worked all day? God didn't create all of us at the same time, but that doesn't mean that He loves Adam and Eve more than Shawn and I. And I would not like to be judged against Mother Theresa, much as I think I would do OK against Hitler. God knows the state of each of our hearts and he doesn't hold it against us or love us more for it. As unbelievable as it seems, He can love each of us the same.

(all readings are from
Matthew 20: 1 - 16

1 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
2 After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3 And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place;
4 and to them he said, `You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.' So they went.
5 Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same.
6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing; and he said to them, `Why do you stand here idle all day?'
7 They said to him, `Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, `You go into the vineyard too.'
8 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, `Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.'
9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius.
10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius.
11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the householder,
12 saying, `These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.'
13 But he replied to one of them, `Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius?
14 Take what belongs to you, and go; I choose to give to this last as I give to you.
15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?'
16 So the last will be first, and the first last."

Father, help us to tamper our petty jealousy and rejoice in every soul that  prepares to enter you Garden. Regardless of our actions and how much we love You, You love us all more than we can even imagine. Thank-you for allowing each of us to be first in your heart and the least of us to be greatest in your kingdom...amen.

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