(Isaiah 55:6-9; Philippians 1:20-24, 27; Matthew 20:1-16)

In our journey Christian vocation, we all discover the person of Jesus and follow him at different stages of our lives some discovered Jesus very early in their lives (morning), some at the mid time of their lives (afternoon) and still others very later in their lives (evening) after so many years of ‘idle living’. Whichever time you discover Him, the good news remains that, God in his graciousness embraces everyone with equal love and generosity irrespective at whatever time one discovers Him in one’s life.

Dear sisters and brothers, in the first reading (Isaiah 55:6-9), the Prophet Isaiah tells the people of Israel to seek the Lord while assuring that he is near. He urged us all to abandon our bad ways and return to the Lord as he is rich in forgiving.

The gospel reading (Matthew 20:1-16) presents us with the parable of the workers who came into a landowner’s vineyard in the morning, afternoon and evening respectively but were rewarded alike. Accordingly, we are told that those who came earlier grumbled but the Master said he was not unjust because he gave as he wished.

In the parable, each group of the hired labourers represents our individual selves, our respective families, our ethnic groups and nations. Some of us have been ‘summoned to the vineyard’ that is, discovered the person of Christ and embraced the Christian faith long ago, while others embraced Him quite later. Irrespective of when anyone embraces the Christian faith, none of us is the owner of the ‘vineyard’ (the Church) but only God and we are all labourers. And no one or class has any claim to be treated by God better than other people. Rather, God graciously treats everyone equally in his kingdom, provided you respond to his summon, cooperate with his grace and remain faithful to the end.

May God help us with his grace to remain faithful to the end; setting outside jealousy or envy in Gods reward; and joyfully welcome and embrace who discovered Christ at the later years of their lives. God rewards each and every one of us gratuitously irrespective of when you discovered and embraced Him in your Christian vocation.