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, he 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, he 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.”
Charity and generosity are two virtues that stand out to me in this Gospel reading. The landowner shows great charity for his neighbor in this generous act of paying the laborers the agreed upon wage, even after only an hours worth of work. The world we live in now is so competitive. I am thinking that even in the days of Jesus, there was competition for work. I can imagine living in these days and knowing I needed to get out at the crack of dawn to make sure I was chosen to have work so I could feed my family. There are days where things happen and getting out the door on time doesn’t always happen. The list of things that caused people to be late are numerous. How beautiful to witness the charity, love, and the generous heart of the landowner.
The landowner asks, “Are you envious because I am generous?”
In our PAPA Handbook, we have the Ten Commandments on Page 42. The Ten Commandments are commonly used to examine our conscience. I have found it very helpful to also use The Seven Heavenly Virtues and the Seven Capital sins on page 45 in our PAPA handbook. Using this I find that I can pray for the virtues that counteract the evil tendencies that cause me to sin. Reading scripture such as this parable help me to also examine my own actions and reactions, and work on building a connection with Jesus. Learning about those things that He wants me to cultivate so that I can labor with love.
A few weeks ago our Spiritual Director, Father Michael, gave us a challenge. I wanted to share it with the world, because I believe it has been very helpful to many of us PAPA members.
Here is the transcript from Father to the PAPA members:
Salve all y’all! God bless y’all.
Saint Francis de Sales advised his spiritual children to pick one virtue and practice it for the rest of their own life.
I personally pick the virtue of patience and did an in-depth researched study on it in my thesis.
What is your pick?
Here are my suggestions:
(1) Pick a story of a saint.
(2) Read and reflect on his or her life.
(3) Pick their greatest virtue, study it and put it into practice.
God bless y’all.
Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or comments.
This month we are praying for the virtue of wisdom for our Priests. Please join us in praying for priests with the PAPA Priest prayer. (click here)
May God bless us all!
Mary Queen of Apostles - make our priests holy.
St. Alphonsus - Pray for us.
St. John Vianey - Pray for us.
St. Pius X - Pray for us.