Let God be God (Twenty-seventh Ordinary)

“Here’s another story. Listen closely. There was once a man, a wealthy farmer, who planted a vineyard. He fenced it, dug a winepress, put up a watchtower, then turned it over to the farmhands and went off on a trip. When it was time to harvest the grapes, he sent his servants back to collect his profits”. (Matthew 21: 33 – 34)

I asked a friend, Don, how life was going for him, and he said that things were horrible at work. His wife’s friend’s husband had been out of work a year or so back and Don paved the way for him to get an interview where he worked. Don’s company hired him, and Don felt pretty good he was able to help someone out.

But things haven’t turned out so well. The guy Don helped quickly got designs on taking over Don’s job, and he’s making Don’s life miserable. He constantly second-guesses Don in front of their colleagues. He finds reasons to talk to Don’s clients behind his back. He spreads false rumours to try to undermine Don’s authority with his staff.

As it turns out, the new guy is actually shooting himself in the foot. The bosses and staff, originally impressed with his initiative, have come to see how self-serving he is. It won’t be long before he’s out of work again, which saddens Don because the guy had a pretty good deal for himself – before he started angling to get more and more. In this week’s gospel, Jesus tells a parable about people who had a pretty good deal – in fact a covenant with God almighty. But instead of enjoying the vineyard God prepared, they wanted it all for themselves. The good news this week is that there is only one God – and it’s not me and it’s not you. We just work for God.

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