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21/Aug/2019

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard…” Matt 20:1-16

It can be difficult to separate ourselves from our work. Work is the source of our income, our sustenance, even our self-worth and, for some, our identity. We want to be paid commensurate with our effort… and don’t mind an additional tip, if offered. We like to be complimented on a job well-done and noticed for our diligence. Our sense of justice is offended when we see others rewarded equally to ourselves when we know our work was greater.

The parable of the landowner who pays those who worked all day the same as those who came late in the day is a reminder of God’s sovereignty. Though we pray in the Lord’s Prayer for God to provide our daily bread, how many of us truly see it as our Lord’s gift and not our due for our own efforts? After all, we contracted for our wages, we did the work, and we purchased the bread.

The truth is, though, that we who put our trust in God’s providence do so with our whole being. We recognize that the very air we breathe is a gift. The time we have is fleeting. The faith we share is through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Is there truly anything we do on our own?

Yes.

We obey the will of God.

He called us to work in His vineyard. We obey. We do His will. It doesn’t matter how long ago we were called. Our reward for faithfulness is His to bestow… and He is generous. Through our Baptism, we have been reborn into the very household of God, taking on His Name; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our reward is our inheritance… undivided and undiluted. We are not mere day-laborers. We are sons and daughters called home to share in the heavenly banquet. Older children are not more precious than newborns. We are family.

What made the blessed virgin Mary “blessed among all women?” Was it because she was greater than any other woman who lived or will live? Was it because she sacrificed more or gave more in her life than any other? Or was it simply because she was made for a special purpose, faithful to God, and He rewarded her as He saw fit. Call it the luck of our lineage… some are born into royal families while others are born on the streets. Each has been gifted with life and purpose by the same God. We tend to see with earthly eyes of envy when we see another blessed greater than ourselves.

Opening ourselves to the heavenly reality helps us realize that our Lord is the giver of all gifts, the granter of all stations, and the author of all rewards. We should rejoice in all of His works, especially when He raises up our siblings in honor as a model for our own faithfulness.

May His Kingdom come and His will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Amen.


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patrick.yanke@yankeacademy.com

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"The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government." -- Thomas Jefferson
"The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; it is right [to do so].... There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man." -- G.K. Chesterton
"The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them." -- Thomas Jefferson
“If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?” -- Frederic Bastiat
"Although all men are born free, slavery has been the general lot of the human race. Ignorant—they have been cheated; asleep—they have been surprised; divided—the yoke has been forced upon them. But what is the lesson? ... the people ought to be enlightened, to be awakened, to be united, that after establishing a government, they should watch over it ... It is universally admitted that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently free." -- James Madison
"Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing [a people] to slavery." -- Thomas Jefferson
"I respect ordinary thieves more than I respect politicians. Ordinary thieves take my money without pretense. (They) don’t insult my intelligence by proclaiming that they’ll use the money that they steal from me to make my life better." -- Walter Williams
A democracy flirts with the danger of becoming a slave in direct ratio to the numbers of its citizens who work, but do not own / or who own, but do not work; or who distribute, as politicians do, but do not produce. The danger of the 'slave state' disappears in ratio to the numbers of people who own property and admit its attendant responsibilities under God. They can call their souls their own because they own and administer something other than their souls. Thus they are free." -- Archbishop Fulton Sheen
"A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear." -- 2 Timothy 4:3
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