Dear parishioners & friends of St. Thomas the Apostle parish,
Is there anything like fair play? When growing up, our parents taught us the great importance of fairness. Play or fight hard but be fair. In this weekend’s gospel, the laborers in the vineyard complain vehemently against their employer, accusing him of having an unfair payment method. To the workers, justice demands that those who work less deserve less and vice versa. The landowner seems to have violated the principles of justice. But did the landowner lie to the workers?
The landowner paid the workers the amount of money they agreed upon at the time of hire. He carried out what he promised—but those who endured the heat of sun all day found this unfair. Friends, I do not think this parable is meant to be taught in a class of economics, or just employment practices and good labor relations. This parable was meant to address a serious problem which continued to cause havoc in the early church. Christians who converted from Judaism were upset about the fact that the gospel was being preached to the gentiles and great wonders and transformation were taking place in the gentile community. The Jews believed Jesus was Jewish and that he was the Messiah and the fulfillment of the ancient hope of Israel. Therefore, they demanded that pagan nations observe all Jewish traditions if they expected to accept Jesus as Messiah and thereby become sharers of the kingdom. The Jewish people saw God as not playing a fair game. Yet Jesus teached that, while they had worked long and hard in God’s vineyard, they shouldn’t be envious because of God’s generous mercy and love shown to the gentiles at the last moment.
Friends, the Lord has called us to pray for the conversion of sinners and to lead all souls into his loving heart. Salvation is meant for all who accept Jesus. It is the right and duty of all of us as a church to cultivate a peaceful environment that welcomes sinners and new souls to Christ.
The renew my church process is still ongoing. We have four members of our community representing us in the entire process. These four members are being trained to come and speak to us about this program and its blessings for our archdiocese. Please review the material which begins below this article in today’s bulletin. Yes, it is a lot of information and that’s why we are extending a three week period to reflect upon and digest the material. There is also a feedback sheet on page 6 of this bulletin. Please fill it out and return it back to us either electronically via Facebook or our website, or by mail. Thank you for being a member of our community here at St. Thomas. You mean a lot to this faith community and we love you.
via: St. Thomas the Apostle Sunday Bulletin: https://stapostleparish.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/St-Thomas-the-Apostle-bulletin-09202020.pdf