Come Holy Spirit....
I first blogged about this 7 years ago, but I felt it was worth revisiting once more.
Going back decades to Sunday School until just recently in a Homily, people have misunderstood Matthew 20:1-16...The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard:
The problem with this parable that I have come across time and again, is that it is often taken literally and then seen as what our labor laws should be according to God. This is not so.
It starts off with Jesus telling us that this is what the Kingdom of Heaven is like, not how life on earth is supposed to be. So what is He referring to?
Jesus is telling us that whether we become Christians at an early age, or sometime in the middle, or at the very end of our lives, that the reward will be the same, the Kingdom of Heaven! And that some will grumble about not being given a higher reward for serving the Lord for many decades than someone who just started believing much later on. So what the parable is ultimately about, is God's mercy! God is equally generous to ALL who believe in Him, regardless of when they came to believe. Our agreement with God is that we serve and love Him and we are rewarded with the Kingdom of Heaven. No more and no less has been promised. And is it not God's reward to give away freely as He sees fit? It is very similar to the parable of the Prodigal Son, is it not?
ALL who come to believe in the Lord will be rewarded equally, with eternity in God's Kingdom. Whether you come to believe early in life or later in life, all can and will receive salvation!
Is that fair? Well, it is God's prerogative to be so generous, and He has done you no wrong, has He? You received what was promised as a servant of the Lord.
Now, some will read this and think, "Well I might as well wait until the end of my life to serve the Lord." This is foolish one two levels. One, do you not love God unconditionally? Don't you serve Him out of love? Not to tske advantage of Him? And two, how do you know when the end of your life is? It could be tomorrow. it could be 50 years. None of us know. So you are gambling with your salvation, and God is not foolish enough to reward that, anyway.
So love the Lord God with all of your heart, as He asks us to do, and rather than be jealous of others when you see them getting rewarded for their faith regardless of how long they have believed, take solace that we have such a generous Father, such a merciful Father, that no matter when you came to believe, be it decades ago, or right this moment, you will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven as promised!
May God bless you!