Wednesday, September 14, 2011
by Sister Sally Ann Brickner
I just returned from the eye doctor having received a good report. No cataracts. No macular degeneration. No glaucoma. "20/20 vision" with my corrective lenses. What a blessing! I left the office grateful to be able to see things as they really are.
But do I? This Sunday's reading from Isaiah suggests that I do NOT see or think the way God does. Nor, if I am like the workers described in Matthew's gospel, do I act as God does.
The landowner in Jesus' parable hires workers at every hour of the day in order to bring in the harvest. At the end of the day, each worker receives the full daily wage - beginning with the last hired to the first. As the latter receive their daily, agreed upon wage, they complain to the owner for not paying them more for having borne the heat of the day. Maybe they have the "green eyes of envy" because those hired at the last hour receive equal payment from the owner.
The land owner, like our good and gracious God, sees that every person needs the daily wage in order to provide a "generous sufficiency" for the family. For the land owner, payment depends on what the worker needs and not on the number of hours worked.
How difficult it is to "see" the world and our relationships from God's perspective. True justice requires that, at the end of the day, every person - whether young or old; healthy or infirm; intelligent or dull; rich or poor - have his or her basic needs met. This is not the way our economic relationships function. Indeed, God's thoughts are not our thoughts nor are Gods ways our ways. If they were, would we have such high unemployment and poverty levels in our country?
Prayer: Lord, help me to see as You see. Help me to conduct myself in a manner worthy of Your Gospel.
Rooted in the Cross, Word, and Eucharist ... compassionately responding through prayer, presence, and hospitality.
3110 Nicolet Drive
Green Bay, Wisconsin 54311-7212