17 September, 2011

This Sunday - Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity (A) 2011

Matthew 21:23-32

Today’s gospel reading could look as a general illustration of God’s retribution for those who lead a virtuous life and do His will at any point in their lives. However, we should not be swayed by this superficial interpretation as, I believe, it is only a by-product of what Jesus actually meant to convey to His followers. Here Jesus is concerned with showing that the same salvation is available to both Jews and Gentiles through God’s promises.
The Patriarchs were the first workers who, heeding the God’s or the landowner’s invite went to do His will, and so forth throughout the Old Testament. With Jesus, we are also invited to enter God’s vineyard and to share in God’ salvation. In Jesus, God shows that he is generous. Moreover, I am not entirely satisfied with the word generous used in the NRSV. If one were to follow the Greek, one would understand that in Jesus God shows us that he is “GOOD”. And even though now we use the word “good” all too often, in theological terms it defines much more than something “good” as a good, tasty cake. Good and goodness are characteristics that belong primarily - if not exclusively - to God (cf. Matt 19:17) and out of this bountiful goodness all workers receive in equal measure.

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