Liturgical day: Sunday 25th (A) in Ordinary Time
Comment: Fr, Jaume GONZÁLEZ i Padrós (Barcelona, Spain)
Today, the evangelist keeps depicting the Kingdom of God, after Jesus' teachings, and which, during these Summer Sundays, is extolled in our Eucharistic Assemblies.
In the background of today's Gospel lies the vineyard, prophetic image of the people of Israel in the Old Testament, and now, of the new people of God, born from the wounded side of the Lord in the Cross. The question: to belong to this people, as the effect of God's personal call to each one of us: «It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you» (Jn 15:16), and, thanks to the volition of our Father in heaven, to extend this call to all men, motivated by His generous will of salvation.
In this parable, the grumblings of the workers of the first hour are enhanced. They are the parallel image of the elder brother of the parable of the prodigal son. Those who see their task to win the Kingdom of God (the work in the vineyard) as a heavy affliction («we have endured the day's burden and heat»: Mt 20:12) and not as a privilege which God favors them with, are not working with filial joy but with the ill temper manner of the servants.
Faith, for them, is something that binds and enslaves, and, deep inside, they envy those that “live life”, inasmuch as they conceive the Christian conscience as a constraint rather than as the wings that provide our human life with a divine flight. They think it is better to remain spiritually idle, instead of living under the glow of God's word. They feel entitled to their salvation and, accordingly, they are jealous. Their miserable and mean spirit notably contrasts with the Father's generosity, who «who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth» (1Tim 2:4), and this is why He calls us to his vineyard, «The Lord is good to all, compassionate to every creature» (Ps 145:9).