When is Enough Enough?
by Janine Schenone on September 21, 2023
The parable of the landowner who hires laborers throughout the day for his vineyard and pays them an equal amount (Matthew 20:1-16) seems scandalous to readers who consider the story in light of the typical working world. Why would workers who have arrived so late get the same day’s wages as those who labored under the burning sun all day?
The all-day workers complain that they should have received more than the people who worked only an hour, even though they received the wages they had agreed to early in the morning. The landowner points out to them that he has done them no wrong. “Are you envious of my generosity?” he asks.
It’s strange how those who have plenty often bristle at others receiving generosity, mercy, and grace. The irritation comes from a mentality of scarcity: there is only so much money, or love, or time, or attention to go around, and those who have an abundance worry that they will lose if those with far less resources get more.
When is enough enough? How do we turn our minds and spirits from a mentality of scarcity to a mentality of abundance, both in terms of worldly resources and in terms of God’s generosity toward those who arrive late to God’s kingdom? How do we experience a sense of enough and a gratitude for the sufficient amount of all sorts of things in our lives? How can we lean into a deep trust of God’s providential care for us, and how do we reflect that loving care toward the less fortunate in our lives?
Our Diocese is requesting assistance for immigrants admitted into San Diego who need some very temporary help with donations, housing and transportation.
Praying with you for those in need,