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  • Writer's pictureMonica Walton

Calculating a Generous Amount

We probably all agree that last Sunday's Gospel Reading is quite a challenging one. The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard receiving equal pay amounts regardless of how long they worked is definitely difficult to figure out. Doing the math for paying those workers makes no sense by worldly standards. Who would pay the same amount to those who worked a full day and those who only worked one hour? Only God can be that generous!

"Are you envious because I am generous?" (Mt 20:15) {Read the full parable here.}

Here's the key ~ God uses divine standards for His calculations! So, the only way to understand what Jesus is teaching in this parable is through Him. Only the Lord can help us understand the math in this Scripture.

Adrienne von Speyr, a Swiss mystic born in 1902, said it well:

"When we make our own calculations, we need so many numbers and factors that any mistake is possible. The Lord's calculation boils down to love."

So, let's look at the parable through His eyes of love ..... and see the wages paid as being God's Mercy.

I think most, if not all of us, place ourselves in the position of the first, hard-working, all-day, committed laborers. We only want fair wages. We want to be recognized and rewarded for working harder than the latecomers. We feel those who show up late for work don't deserve to be rewarded for such behavior, and we feel cheated.

But what if we were the last to arrive?

What if the wages were not money but rather God's love, mercy, and forgiveness?

Would we want to receive a full share even though we weren't there for the first call to service? Would we want a full share even though we got sidetracked, distracted, or busy with other important things?

What if the last ones had good reasons they weren't there in the morning?

Perhaps they didn't know the landowner would be so generous and welcoming. Perhaps they were uninformed or misinformed about the opportunity that awaited them. Perhaps they thought that they weren't good enough to be hired.

In this light, do we think it would be fair for all of us, the first and the last, to receive a full share? Surely our answer is YES!!! Yes, Lord! Thank You, Lord, for your most generous offering of love, mercy, and forgiveness - even to me!


As laborers receiving a full share of His love, might we be more kind to those who seem to "arrive late" ? Hopefully, we can better appreciate God's overwhelming generosity to all, not just those who get there first and put in the most work!


When it seems we do more, forgive more, or stay more focused than others, how can we view it by God's standards and pay forward His generosity?

Seek His help and treat them with His generous love.

When it seems others do more, forgive more, or stay more focused than us, how can we view it by God's standards and receive His generosity?

Seek His help and see yourself through His generous love.


Attached below is a new Modern Day Parable* that came to me in prayer. Hopefully, you will find something in the story that brings more love and light into your heart for living His Word each day.

The Last Ones Selected -- A Modern Day Parable
Download PDF • 61KB

*Modern Day Parables are my original stories inspired by Sacred Scripture that present the Gospel message in a contemporary setting.

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Sep 27, 2023

Very good thoughts on that challenging parable ……. It certainly addresses much of the turmoil and anxiety that is so prevalent in the world today. It’s a very powerful teaching as you indicate, especially if we begin to look at ourselves as the late-comers. It sure is an invitation to humility …… gratitude for his extraordinary mercy and generosity.

Monica Walton
Monica Walton
Sep 28, 2023
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Amen! Thank you! There are so many ways to contemplate this teaching!

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