Today's Gospel from St Matthew concerns the parable of the vineyard. Working in the vineyard is symbolic of the Lord's salvific will. For the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. He promised to pay the workers one denarius a day. He sent them off into the vineyard. As the day wore on, the householder went out to hire more workers. He even hired people at the eleventh hour. When day was done, the first workers expected to be paid more than the last group which had been hired. When everyone got the same pay, the first workers complained to the householder, who replied: Friend; I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you, and go; I choose to give to this last as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?
The Lord does not mean this parable to be a strict lesson in labour relations. He wants us to understand that his grace is a pure gift. Whoever is called to follow Christ as a youth does not thereby enjoy precedence over some one called during maturity or in life's final moments. People who are near death should not think it is too late to follow Our Lord. The day's wages for every person is God's grace. That gift will always be infinitely greater than whatever anyone has done in life. The greatness of God's plans for us is always superior to our short-range, human designs.
Although we have been called by the Lord at different hours of the day, we should be one in our spirit of thanksgiving. The call to work in the vineyard is an immense honour. St Bernard affirms: "Each one can find reasons to thank God in his life. We should feel particularly moved to thank God because he has called us to serve him and him alone."
Among the many problems facing the world, there is one that stands out from the rest, namely, how few people there are who really know Christ on a personal basis. Many people live and die without even knowing the fact that Christ has brought salvation to the world. There are many people who will or will not find Christ because of our example. Since the work that awaits everyone in the vineyard of the Lord is so great there is no place for idleness. With even greater urgency the 'householder' repeats his invitation: You go into the vineyard too'. How can we remain indifferent when so many people do not know the Lord? St Gregory the Great exhorts us: "Each one should examine themselves to see how energetically they are working in the vineyard of the divine Sower. Perhaps we have not dedicated everything we have to the service of the Lord. The people who really work for him are those who are anxious to win souls and bring others to the vineyard."
There is room for everyone in the vineyard of the Lord: young and old, rich and poor, men and women, be they in the prime of life or in their sunset years, whether they have time to spare or no time at all. No one who has crossed our path in this life should be able to say that he was not encouraged, by our example and word, to love Christ more. None of our friends, none of our relatives, should be able to say at the end of their lives that that they had no one who was concerned about them.
Monday to Friday: 07h00
Saturday: 07h00 18h00 (Vigil Mass)
Sunday: 08h00 09h30 11h00
Before every morning Mass.
Before and during Saturday evening and Sunday Masses.
For confession outside of these times, please contact Fr Joe or the Parish Office.