There should be less talk; a preaching point is not a meeting point. What do you do then? Take a broom and clean someone's house. That says enough. - Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
Gospel text (Mt 20,1-16):
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o'clock,
the landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.'
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o'clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o'clock,
the landowner found others standing around, and said to them,
'Why do you stand here idle all day?'
They answered, 'Because no one has hired us.'
He said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard.'
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
'Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.'
When those who had started about five o'clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
'These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day's burden and the heat.'
He said to one of them in reply,
'My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?'
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last."
In this parable, the grumblings of the workers of the first hour are enhanced. They are the parallel image of the elder brother of the parable of the prodigal son. Those who see their task to win the Kingdom of God (the work in the vineyard) as a heavy affliction («we have endured the day's burden and heat»: Mt 20:12) and not as a privilege which God favors them with, are not working with filial joy but with the ill temper manner of the servants.
Faith, for them, is something that binds and enslaves, and, deep inside, they envy those that “live life”, inasmuch as they conceive the Christian conscience as a constraint rather than as the wings that provide our human life with a divine flight. They think it is better to remain spiritually idle, instead of living under the glow of God's word. They feel entitled to their salvation and, accordingly, they are jealous. Their miserable and mean spirit notably contrasts with the Father's generosity, who «who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth» (1Tim 2:4), and this is why He calls us to his vineyard, «The Lord is good to all, compassionate to every creature» (Ps 145:9).