Divine Justice and Mercy

This Sunday’s Gospel of the householder and the labourers often evokes emotions and the question of meritocracy and the fairness of God.

We ask, how can God reward those who come in at the last minute to “steal” their way into heaven. Some will say, I have served in the Church for many years and put in a lot of effort, as compared to someone who lived an ungodly life and possibly gets baptised on his deathbed.

Where is the fairness in that if we all end up in heaven.

Well, the first thing to remember is that God’s mercy is infinite and hence it is His perogative to grant eternal life to all humanity whether we think we have done enough “work” for him or not.

And the second thing to note is that we cannot “earn” heaven. We do good works, worship God in prayers faithfully etc as gratitude and honour to Him. We can in no way guarantee ourselves a place in heaven by doing certain things.

The homilist also reminds us that the labourers in the parable who waited around til the last minute before they got hired, did not have a good time either. They were probably very worried and anxious about making enough to feed the family for the day.

And so, whether its the first hour or the eleventh hour that God calls us, we press on.

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