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The good news for the day August 17

Wednesday of the twentieth Week in Ordinary Time (421) 

Jesus tells his students this example: “The realm of what is right—it’s like some winegrower who went out at dawn to hire workers for his vineyard. After contracting with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. Going out about later in the morning, he saw some others standing idle in the employment office; he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will pay you a just wage.’ So they went. And he went out again around midday, and then early afternoon, and did the same thing. Going out late in the afternoon, he found still others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They answered, ‘Because nobody has taken us on.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’ When evening arrived, the winegrower said to his manager, ‘Call in the workers and give them their pay, starting with one hired last and ending with the first.’ When those who had started late in the day came, each received a full day’s pay! So when those hired earlier came, they thought that they would get more—but each of them also got the same pay. And on getting it they complained against the boss, saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who suffered the whole day with its heat.’ The winegrower said to one of them by way of answer: ‘My friend, I am not cheating you at all. Did you not contract with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go away. What if I want to give this last worker the same pay as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you spiteful that I am generous?’ This s an example: the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20)

The story is clear. God is not fair. If you think He is “fair” in human terms—you don’t get it at all. A saintly person like Mother Teresa hides terrible doubts; a down-and-our homeless addict named Angela is beloved by God beyond measure because of—because of!—her struggling unseen by others. A quietly, cheerful Mary Ann wife—after she dies—sheds radiance for three and four generations of children. A thief all his life—at the last minute—joins Jesus in Paradise. God is Not Fair! Only spiteful people whine about it. We, with the Good News, celebrate God’s unfairness.

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