Disciples, Apostles, and Saints!
This week’s gospel confronts how we approach the very ordering of our world. And while that could be said of literally any other passage in scripture, there’s a particular reason this one is so biting.
Money. Jesus confronts us about money. And this reveals something deep about us in the west in the 21st century that this hits us way harder than any other.
I’ll admit to a particular glee in wrestling with this week’s gospel passage. Because of the responses it always brings out.
What we hear in it is that the landowner isn’t being fair. We calculate the wage something like
daily wage = hours x hourly rate
and Jesus offers
daily wage = daily wage
I’m confident he knows how we get hung up. And why it hits us so hard. But he’s not the one who brought up fairness. We did. He talked about what was right. And the right thing is to ensure everybody gets fed.
Fairness doesn’t ensure rightness. It ensures hierarchies, division and suffering. It doesn’t just allow poverty, but creates it. Abiding fairness can literally kill. But doing what is right? That often leads to generosity, hope, and restoration. Things that are good.