Radical Equality

Today’s Gospel in Catholic churches everywhere is drawn from the Matthew 20: 1-16. It’s a familiar parable of the landowner who is hiring people to work in his vineyard. You’ve heard it many times I’m sure. The landowner goes out at 9:00 AM and hires folks to work and agrees to pay them a the usual daily wage. He went out again at noon and at three o’clock and hired more workers to for the usual daily wage. He hired more still at five o’clock. In the evening he summoned the foreman and told him to pay the workers beginning with the last and ending with the first. Each received the usual daily wage. Those who had been hired first began to grumble. They thought they deserved more because they had labored the entire day.

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.”

Matthew 20:11-16

As I reflected on these word today I realized that in the Kingdom of God as proclaimed by Jesus we see radical equality. There is no seniority, no frequent flyer miles. Everyone is compensated equally for their work. Some would call this socialism today but is it really? Imagine a world where such as this existed. Isn’t this what life should be like?

One Reply to “Radical Equality”

  1. Hi Don,
    Thank you for sharing your reflections on this parable! I especially like how you phrase it “radical equality,” and pose the possibility of living in a world where this is true. With the radical mercy and generosity of Jesus, I think it is indeed possible to live in a world of radical equality. I also recently wrote on this parable in my post titled “Parables and Positive Psychology.” In these posts, I aim to support the teachings of Jesus with contemporary findings in the field of positive psychology, which is the scientific study of well-being and happiness. I hope you have the time to check out the content ,and I welcome any comments/reflections you may have as well. I hope to see you there but if not, I hope you are doing well, and God bless you!

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