Last Sunday's Gospel passage is one that I worked with over the summer during our FaithICS series (this isn't the first time that this has happened this school year!). Providentially, it seems that it's contents contain a message God wanted me to hear and work with once again.
As I continue to reflect on how to simplify my life, I continually fight the urge to compare aspects of who I am to others. It is tempting to see that the car I drive is 10 years old, that my grass is the tallest on my street and that other principals work less than I do. Similarly, it is easy to fall into the traps of jealousy and righteousness. I work so hard. I habitually bite my tongue instead of lashing back. I'm holier than _____________.
It's easy to state, "that isn't fair" in response to a myriad of life situations.
Like the laborers that work all day, it's easy to feel like we are entitled to something more in this life. Our rewards should be greater because of our decision to work in a Catholic school, remain committed to one spouse, put our kids first, volunteer for a committee, etc.!
But, God's message to us is the same as those disgruntled workers: "My friend, I am not cheating you. Take what is yours and go."
God loves us abundantly. He also loves everyone else with the same abundance. We would do well to embrace these two facts: God loves us and He loves others.
When we do that we can come to embrace our state in life, no matter what that may be. We can come to see that wherever we are is exactly where God can meet us. It may not be where He wants us to be but it is precisely where He can reach us. When we embrace God's love for us we embrace His will for us and follow it in the same way He loves us - unconditionally.
Similarly, when we start to see that we are beloved in the same way that others are, not because of who we are or what we do but because of Him, we can start to embrace others more unconditionally as well. Everyone has a part to play. Everyone is called. Everyone is loved. Everyone is worthy.
Take what is yours - you are worthy and what God has given you has much worth - and go.