Today’s gospel was the parable about the vineyard. The master went out at dawn, 9:00, noon, 3:00 and 5:00 to hire workers. At the end of the day all were paid the same. Of course those who were hired at dawn were indignant but how many of us really fit into that category?
The good news is that it is never too late to turn to the Lord. Many of us are among the later workers. Very few people who I know really followed the Lord all their lives. Many of us who seemed to have followed Him know that for parts of our lives we just went through the motions. So this parable is really good news, something to remember when Satan reminds us of our past. It is a reminder of God’s awesome love and that He never gives up on us. He will still be pursuing us no matter how late in life we have strayed.
Most of us have strayed away from the Lord at some time in our past. It is easy to do in today’s world to get caught up in all the garbage. Sometimes it happens so gradually you don’t even notice. They’re just little sins, no big deal, just a little cursing, a little cheating, a little drinking, a movie you shouldn’t watch or a party you shouldn’t go to. Everyone does this stuff. It’s no big deal you still go to church but maybe you’re going on Saturday so you can sleep late. Instead of focusing on the mass your mind is on your plans for Saturday night. We start going through the motions. We look good to others but we know we’re not living the life God wants
For many of us it stays that way. We’re no worse than most people and better than all the drunks and druggies out there. We could be doing a lot of worse things. The truth is that we’ve moved away from God. We’re not living the life He created us for and we’re missing out on the relationship He created us for.
Some of us drift away from church completely. We don’t need to go every week. We can pray at home. Church is full of hypocrites anyway. Maybe we only go at Christmas and Easter.
Maybe for some of us things got worse. We committed one sin after another and now we’re so lost that we feel hopeless. We may be alcoholics, users, addicts. Our lives may be out of control due to gambling, pornography, violence, anger or lust. We may even be in jail. We may feel so lost that we can never be found. It is too late for us or so we feel.
Maybe you know someone like I described. Maybe I described your brother or sister, one or all of your children or your grandchildren. Maybe it’s a relative or a friend that has gone through these experiences. Maybe you worry about their souls.
Today’s Gospel Matthew 20; 1-16 about the workers in the vineyard is hope for all of us who are lost, were lost or know someone who is lost. Jesus is saying that as long as one is alive it is never too late to return to the Lord. It doesn’t matter if we’re twenty two or ninety-two. It isn’t too late. No one is hopeless. It doesn’t matter that it is 5:00 and the work day ends at 6:00, Jesus or God is still looking for you to bring you into the heavenly vineyard.
We should be in a celebratory mood every time we hear this gospel. We know or can guess whether we are the workers hired at 9:00, noon, 3:00 or 5:00 Of course we don’t know how long we’ll live but it doesn’t matter. The master paid them all the same. All of us will be accepted by the Lord regardless of what age we turn to Him and try to live the life He created us for. The same is true of your kids or grandchildren. The Lord is still going to be going out looking for them at the 5:00 of their lives. He will still be pursuing them with love regardless of how far they roamed. He isn’t going to give up on them and neither should we. Our job should be to keep praying for them in love.
Thank You, Lord for the hope and promise that You give us in this parable. You are such an awesome God. Thank You for seeking me out at such a late time. Thank You that You are always seeking the lost that it is never too late to turn to You while we live. Amen