Grumbling or Grateful – Willy Samson, SJ

Matthew 10:1-16, 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time22007627_1834719109876091_1398215229510590628_n

Our Sunday Gospel today brings us to the reality that God is looking for us. He wants us to work for Him. The reading is divided in to two major parts: Responding to the call and purifying my selfish desire.

RESPONDING TO THE CALL. He wants us to work in his vineyard by joining his workforce in the harvest season. The reading allows us to see the landowner going out to the market place to personally look for people to work with him. He did it five times, at 6AM, 9AMm 12PM, 3PM and 5PM – one hour before ending the day. He wants everybody on board. He does not get tired looking for us. He wants us to enjoy the vineyard’s beauty and work with him. We should be grateful for this opportunity to work with our Lord.

Are you already on board? Are you already working in the vineyard of God? What time did you come? What time did you start dirtying your hands for the sake of God’s vineyard? Are you part of the 6AM force or the 5PM force? Are you serving God since you were young? Are you in your 60’s and have not yet started serving God? Don’t be shy. Age does not matter in serving God. No one is late in loving and serving God.

PURIFYING MY DESIRE. Our desire to serve God must come from love and not from our desire to be rewarded. WE WORK HARD FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. We work hard to please him, and not ourselves. In our Gospel reading, the intentions of the workers were exposed when the landowner generously gave equal payment to everybody. Some workers expressed their dissatisfaction to the landowners generosity. They cried out, UNFAIR – because of ENVY. The landowner explicitly said, “Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why should you be envious because I am generous?” (Matthew 20:15).

That’s the problem with ENVY, when we see others getting a better deal than us, we lose our capacity to appreciate the blessings given to us – then we grumble, complain and shout UNFAIR!. But what’s envy?

Envy is our inability to rejoice with others for their blessings, accomplishments and victories. They are our brothers and sisters. God expects us to love them and not just ourselves. God knows our needs. He knows what to give to someone – and to you. The fairness of God is totally different from the way we know it. He disposes grace according to our needs. So envy not and be happy for others. Love seeks the happiness of others and not just ours. Love rejoices when someone is happier.

What do you feel when someone is better than you? What do you feel when someone receives more in spite of your hard work? Are you offended when you are not appreciated? Are you happy when someone becomes wealthier than you? How frequent do you say, “God is unfair or Life is unfair?” or “Buti pa siya.”

Be more appreciative today. Be grateful to God for calling you to the vineyard and work for him. Be more selfless today, stop grumbling. Genuinely rejoice with others with their blessings. God knows what’s best for each one of us. God’s fairness is not in giving us one apple each. Some deserve two, because they need more. It’s not “one is to one”, but who needs more. So when you cry UNFAIR, it is simply ENVY.

Are you grumbling or grateful?

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