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. Jul 2021 .
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Doctrines & Morals

No one has hired us

Ezk. 34:1-11, Mt. 20:1-16. In parables, allegories and riddles, the word of God does not give quick, final answers but spurs us into reflection, as Ecclesiastes (12:11) points out: “The sayings of the wise are like goads.” The parable of the shepherd in today's first reading helps us to look at some details in our style of leadership. Each line of Ezekiel’s allegory puts a serious question to us. Do we use our authority for our own benefit: by not strengthening the weak, or refusing to bind up the injured? In today's Gospel, Jesus presents God to us as a model of true leadership in the parable of the vineyard workers. In the sight of God, new arrivals are equal to those who have been around a long time. The landowner ask those who are not hired until the last hour, why they have not been working. They simply respond: “Because no one has hired us.” It is not that they are not willing to work, but they had not been given the opportunity to work. The landowner is willing to give them what they need – a daily wage, even though they only worked an hour.  

The Lord wants us to know that we are equally beloved by God, regardless of when we respond to His call. It does not mean that because we followed God first then we are better and superior to those who follow Him later and this definitely do not give us the right to look down on others. Even those whom God called at the last hour, like the ones called on the eleventh hour, have the same right to receive the fullness of God’s grace and forgiveness. Unfortunately, this is what happened to the same shepherds of the people of God whom the Lord mentioned in His words to the prophet Ezekiel. Many leaders of the Israelites: the Pharisees and priests, the elders and teachers of the Law looked down on those who they deemed not as pious as they were, forgot the purpose of their existence and responsibility as shepherds of the people. Instead of helping and guiding the lost sheep of the Lord to find their way to their loving Master, they closed the gates and prevented them from returning. They mislead the people through their own misconceived and misinterpreted version of the Law.

May the Lord raise up for us credible leaders who will guide us in the right path to God! Amen!! Stay safe and have a wonderful day!!!

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