Do we get jealous when we see someone getting something that we don’t think they deserve?  How would we feel if we went into the car showroom after saving up for years, to buy the car of our dreams (the Lamborghini Huracan RRP £155,400)’, on receiving the keys we notice someone coming up to the car dealer and saying “I would like one of those Lamborghini Huracan’s please”, the car salesman hands him the keys to an identical car as the one you have just purchased saying “OK, here you go, don’t give me any money, you are the 1000th person through the door so the car is yours for free”. For me I think the little green monster Jealousy may pay a visit…

Wouldn’t it be great though instead of feeling jealous, to be happy for the stranger as they drive out of the showroom.  A similar thing happens in today’s gospel. Jesus tells the story of a farmer who goes out first thing in the morning to find labourers to help plough his fields, he takes the first batch of workers at 8am and puts them to work saying he will pay them £1000 for the day’s work, happy they set about ploughing the land. Then at six o clock in the evening the farmer goes back into the market to get more workers agreeing to pay them £1000 to come and help. At the end of the working day as the light is failing (around 7pm) he gathers the workers and pays them each the agreed £1000.  Now the workers who have been working all day see those that have just arrived being paid the same as them! They storm to the farmer complaining. “The men who came last” they said “have done only one hour, and you have treated them the same as us, though we have done a heavy day’s work in all the heat.”  The Farmer responds

“Take your earnings and go. I choose to pay the last comer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why be envious because I am generous?”.

I love that statement “Why be envious because I am Generous”.  The farmer in Jesus’ story is God and the point is that God’s generosity is infinite, far beyond anything we can comprehend. It’s not our place to judge the motives of God, it is enough to thank him for His generosity, and to share His generosity, love and mercy with all those we meet.