Posted: 20 Aug 2013 06:30 AM PDT
Today’s Gospel Text: “For the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place; 4 and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. 5 Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing; and he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ 8 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ 9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the householder, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you, and go; I choose to give to this last as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.” Matt 20:1-16
Reflection: The ways of the people of this world is so different, when they hire laborers or give they will see how best they could exploit the situation.
If one sees some of the incentive scheme offered by employers, it is either a win-win situation for the employers and employees or it could be purely weighing heavily on the side of the employers.
Even in a win-win situation, the odds could be in favor of the employer and it starts with the very motive itself of gain or profit:
Why are incentives given in the first place, it is given because we who are animated or motivated by rewards may do better?
A just and higher wage is indeed a big incentive or motivation to work, for the many.
Though we may often feel embarrassed to reveal this dark side of our innate motivating desire yet the truth remains and rarely are individuals not motivated by these factors.
If we are not motivated by incentives in particular areas then there are other areas to explore but the human reality remains.
Sometimes a good cause to work can be a great motivating factor too, just as there can be psychological motivators .
Even God in Christ Jesus was motivated to incarnate and die for us so that we may be saved from eternal condemnation. The key motivating factor here was our salvation.
Since many incentives are realized after the work is done therefore one key factor that can become an obstacle to achievements of any target is the element of trust in the offer.
Christ Jesus proves his credentials of not only being trustworthy but adds to it by being generous to the ultimate: “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?” (vs. 15)
Thus the greatest ever incentive and motivation to follow Christ is before us: even if we are the last to be employed by him we can still be first, thanks to his faithfulness and generosity. (cfr. 16)
Prayer: Lord, I want to avail of the graces and gifts that you desire to give me when I to serve you.
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