Today is Sunday. Just another Sunday and I’m tempted to call it another SSDD—same Sunday different date. But it won’t be because this is the second Sunday since I’ve started paying more attention to priest’s homilies. I’m thinking that God is most likely looking at my logbook right now and chances are he must be writing another tick mark beside his many categories of me. I assume that this time I got one tick again for being unfair with a comment written beside it “in trouble and seeking help again.”
But that’s the good thing about God. At least it’s what I learned from my years under Catholic (surprised?) education in my elementary and high school years that no matter how his followers deviate away from him, he’s always (yes, ALWAYS) willing to accept anyone who repents and goes back under his care. Remember the parable of the prodigal son?
Before you find my posts reminiscent of some religious leader standing and speaking spastically in front of thousands of his followers, I’d like to cut it off. I know I’m not the best man to write about this topic (and many of my friends would wonder if this is me writing) but right now I’m inspired of what I’ve heard for two successive Sundays already. It’s one of those times when I’d concede that the Bible is indeed the best book ever made.
Last week’s gospel was about the landowner who picked several laborers to work in his vineyard. These groups of men were however picked on three different times of the day. The first group got going early morning, the second were made to work by midday and the last group was hired and started working late in the afternoon. The catch of this parable comes when the landowner called all the men to be paid of their day’s work. The payment was done starting from those who were hired late then to those who came in during the first hours of the harvest. Unbelievably, the landowner paid all three groups the same amount of money. And as anticipated, those who worked all day complained.
“These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.” The landowner then explained, “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.” (Matthew 20:1-16A)
On whose side would I be if were in that situation? But wait there’s more.
The next gospel is still from the book of Matthew and is similar to the first. Also set in a vineyard but this time it is about a man who had two sons. Each was given a task. But each had different response to it. The first one said “Yes, I will” while the other said “No, I won’t.”Later, however, the one who answered yes did not go and on the other hand the one who declined had a change of heart and eventually went to perform the task.
Now the question Jesus asked is: “Which of the two did his father’s will?” They people answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.” (Matthew 21:28-32)
If the first gospel confused and made me think for a while, the second was equally puzzling. Both gospels though made me realize that whether we’re living in the period when leather sandals is the fad and tax collection is considered the dirtiest job (other than the oldest job, prostitution) or if we are now in the present under the era of Bill Gates, Donald Trump and Chinese milk manufacturers, the rule (and reasoning) that most corporations are following are eerily the same. That is, they pay you whatever they deemed fair and your answer to their expectations just won’t matter in the end. Believe it or not. Whether you like it or not, that’s corporate lessons from the Bible in your face.