25th Sun A
The Gospel Paraphrased
There are many fine translations of the Gospels readily available. This paraphrase is not meant to replace them. Rather the intention here is to offer a more contemporary rendering so that you can imaginatively translate the Gospel into your own situation.
This Sunday's Gospel Paraphrased
After Jesus had warned his disciples about the danger of riches, he told them this parable.
‘The kingdom of heaven is like landowner who went, first thing in the morning, to the labour exchange to hire labourers to work in his vineyard. They agreed on the daily rate - $200, and he sent them into the vineyard. Going into town again, at 9 am, he noticed others standing around idle looking for work and he said to them: “Go out to my vineyard and I’ll pay you what is just.” Well, he had a few trips into town that day and each time he noticed workers waiting to be hired – at noon, at 3 pm – and he sent them out into the vineyard. Even at 5 pm when he saw a group standing idle he asked “Why have you been hanging around all day?” They said: “Because no- one has given us work.” He said “Well, go out to my vineyard and I’ll pay you justly.”
When evening came, the landowner called his supervisor and said: “Call in the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the ones who came last.” When they came in, the ones who had started at 5 pm were paid $200. When the ones who started first came up, they expected a bonus, but they too got $200. They resented this and complained: “What’s this? How come you gave the people who came last the same amount as us? We slaved all day in this heat?” But he answered one of them: ‘Listen mate, I haven’t been unjust to you. Didn’t we agree on $200? Take what is yours and go. I chose to give the ones who came last the same as you. Aren’t I allowed to do what I like with my own money? Why let envy twist your heart because I chose to be generous?”
So the last ones will be first and the first last. Many are called, but few are chosen.’