When we were inviting others to join the ministry in my faith community, the most common excuse we hear for them not joining is their “lack of time”. They also say that anyway since they’re attending Sunday obligations, they’ll be excused from service because they’ll “just serve when they’ll have time in the future” or when they “retire from corporate work.”
In the Gospel (Mt. 20: 1-16a),
“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.”
Many would react to these passages as it may look unfair and not the usual practice to pay the laborers the same amount. But the prophet Isaiah reminds us in the First Reading,
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.” ~ Isaiah 55:6-9
The context of the Gospel reading is not about social justice but that God is exceptionally generous and patient. These passages reveal the vastness of God’s love and that there’s never a time that He tires in waiting for us, despite our stubbornness and inaction.
Many easily fall into the temptation to omit serving in His work as it is much easier to stay in their comfort zones instead of being vessels of His generosity. As mentioned before, others cite lack of time, resources and capability. But there’s never a limitation in generosity. Even while at the Cross, our Lord still was able to give,
“When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple there whom He loved He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your Son.” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” (Jn. 19: 25-27) The Gospel also cited the example of the woman who “bathed His feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair… she anointed my feet with ointment.” (Lk. 7: 36-50) We also get to hear the Gospel (Lk. 8: 1-3) about the “Twelve and some women…and many others who provided for them out of their resources.” In last Monday’s reading, we were treated to the ultimate of God’s love for the world,
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (Feast of the Exultation of the Cross, Jn. 3: 13-17)
Truly, even if resources are limited, there’s no stopping one from being generous if one likes to give. When you have that giving attitude, you are actually allowing yourself to become God’s hands in this world. And you’d be surprised that your resources will never run out because God will never allow you to outlast His exceptional generosity.
In this time of the pandemic, there’s that temptation to be selfish and think only of one’s own welfare. We can be selfish, we can think only of ourselves. But this is not what the Lord want us to do. As His followers, He wants to challenge us to be generous and have that sharing attitude. We should not be likened to what Jesus said,
“To what shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like?
Today we are being reminded to work and not just to sit idly and comfortably. We are called to be generous so that someday, we shall be called as the seeds “that fell on rich soil”,
“But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.” (Lk. 8:4-15)
Today, let us reflect on our level of commitment for God. Let us allow His blessings and grace to sustain His work and do it without fear and hesitation.
“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him.” (Ps. 145: 18)