Intention: That God’s peace and wisdom will touch the hearts of all whose lives are ruled by misunderstanding, anger, or fear.
Today’s Gospel | Matthew 20:1-16
Jesus told his disciples this parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. Going out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.’ So they went off. And he went out again around noon, and around three o’clock, and did likewise. Going out about five o’clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’ When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’ When those who had started about five o’clock came, each received the usual daily wage. So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’ He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
From the Thirteenth Meditation for the Time of Retreat | Saint John Baptist de La Salle
This is what Saint Paul brings to your attention when he says that those who have been put in charge of others must render an account of them to God. He does not say that they will render an account of their own souls but of the souls of those for whom they are responsible. It is over those souls that they must watch, because they are obliged to render an account to God for them.
The basic reason for this is that when they carry out well the service of guides and leaders of the souls entrusted to them, they fulfill at the same time their own duties before God. God will fill them with so much grace that they will be made holy while they are contributing as far as they are able to the salvation of others.
Have you up to the present regarded the salvation of your students as your personal responsibility during the entire time they are under your guidance? You have exercises that are arranged for your own sanctification, but if you have an ardent zeal for the salvation of those whom you are called to instruct, you will not fail to perform them and to relate them to this intention. In doing this you will draw down on your students the graces needed to contribute to their salvation. You can be assured that if you act this way for their salvation, God will assume the responsibility for yours. Take on this spirit for the future.
Eternal Father, we all live because of your grace, but we sometimes forget this and start to think that we deserve more. Our desire to possess and to judge overwhelms our awareness of who you created us to be. Help us remember what it means to live with humble and generous hearts. May we choose to seek less so that we can offer more, and do your will with care and gratefulness. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.