Wednesday of Week 20: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…” Don’t we all want to know?
The gospel reading for today (Mt.20:1-16) has Jesus beginning his parable with the words, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…”. He does this on a few occasions in the gospel and then tells us a parable, in this case that of the landowner who pays his workers the same fee for different hours of labour.
This has always been the focus of much discussion whenever it has cropped up in faith sharing groups. And the usual reaction is, ”That’s not fair!”. After all, one labourer worked the whole day and another just an hour. I recall in my student days when, at the store where I worked, a recently employed fellow student was given an increase beyond my own. The fact that he was the son of a friend of the owner may have had something to do with it, but it clearly wasn’t fair!
But that is not the message of the parable. Jesus is telling us that there is only one heaven and that we will all experience the same reward. How we get there will depend on how well we have used our spiritual talents on earth – and we don’t all have the same talents (see 1 Cor. 12:27-31). Of concern to me personally is the passage from James 3:1 which says that teachers will be judged more harshly!!
Ultimately, our quest for self-salvation is probably less important than our responsibility for the salvation of others. In other words, save yourself by saving others. Pretty interesting idea, isn’t it? We should never stand in judgement of the salvation of another. Rather, we should rejoice in their salvation, regardless of how they achieved it.
Have an amazing day. Hope that the load-shedding doesn’t ruin it completely!
God bless and stay safe. Dc Mike & the team.