Intention: For a spirit of conversion that opens our hearts to the ways of God and the needs of his people, especially those who suffer the pain of destitution, alienation, or oppression.
Today’s Gospel | Matthew 20:1-16a
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, the landowner 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, the landowner 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 Twelfth Meditation for the Time of Retreat | Saint John Baptist de La Salle
The result of a wise correction is that those receiving it are disposed to correct their faults, whereas when correction is administered through passion and without God in view, it serves only to turn the disciple against his teacher and to arouse in him feelings of revenge and ill will, which sometimes last a long time, because results are generally related and similar to the cause that produces them.
If, then, you want your corrections to have the results they ought to have, administer them in a way that can please God and those who receive them. Take care, above all, that it be charity and zeal for the salvation of the souls of your students that lead you to correct them. Show them so much kindness when you give corrections that although you might cause them pain, they will not be angry at you but will show you gratitude for the good you have done for them, great regret for their faults, and a firm intention not to commit them again. From this very moment, be disposed to use the means needed to carry out this resolution.
Eternal Father, your Son taught that we must not let our daily lives be corrupted by greed. As we strive to make a living to care for ourselves and our loved ones, we must be honest and generous in how we do this. Help us to be people of integrity who never place our material earnings in a higher place than you or one another. May we be humble in what we have and servants of those who are in need. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.