Reflecting on Matthew 20: 1-16a
It’s insane, of course, to buy a Powerball ticket, but I am willing to pay two dollars a few times a year for the opportunity to dream about the world I would create if I were fabulously rich. In that alternative universe, my winnings would buy cures for all diseases, housing and food and clean water for all living things, and treasured friends and life-long loves for all who long for them. That’s a lot to ask of six numbers on a piece of paper.
But the kingdom of God, where “every tear will be undone”, will be all of this. Today’s gospel spills the beans about the question that’s on the exam for entrance into the kingdom: did you show up?
Those lucky laborers didn’t have to work all day in the blazing sun, or even half the day. They worked the last part of the day, and then collected their paycheck. Don’t be put off by the grumblings of the other workers who labored since dawn. Certainly there were other areas in their lives where they too had only done the very minimum, but they will be joyfully welcomed into the kingdom as well.
You didn’t draw near to Christ all those years when you had the chance? Draw near now. You didn’t notice the mentally ill standing on the street corner with a sign? Notice them now. You didn’t visit the sick, care for the prisoner, give food and drink to those who needed it? Do it now.
You can’t win the Powerball if you don’t buy a ticket. You can’t enter the kingdom of heaven if you don’t show up. That clanging sound you hear is the gates of heaven opening wide so that all we latecomers can rush in.
Have you ever been surprised by the astonishing generosity of God?