On one level, today’s Gospel account is another example of “Kingdom Economics.” Parables often seem to give a different twist to reality. Today’s parable of the workers who put in different hours in the vineyard and who are paid the same wage certainly doesn’t make good business sense. And that’s the whole point! Salvation and eternal life are not “earned” by our good deeds, but are, instead, the gracious and underserved gift from God.
On another level, the parable describes God’s search for each of us. We know that we are called by God to a life of faith and to share in the gift of salvation. Through Baptism we are incorporated into Christ’s body, the church, and eventually we are invited to receive the Eucharist.
Beyond the basic invitation to a life in relationship with God, we are also called to a particular vocation — marriage, the single life, the consecrated life, the diaconate or priesthood.
Without the gift of priesthood, we would not have the gift of Eucharist. This summer some of our parishes, the retreat house and Camp Tekawitha had a seminarian or two in residence and service. In recent weeks we had the collection to assist with education costs for our seminarians. And each week at Mass we pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life. While the Serrans in our diocese have a special commitment to pray for and support vocations, we all share in this responsibility.
Besides offering our prayer and financial support, we need to encourage and invite those who have expressed an interest or who seem to have the qualities we need in priests and religious. God calls, but sometimes people hear God’s invitation through the voice of others.
In addition to the vocation to the ordained and consecrated life, there is the vocation to marriage and to the single life. Bishop Ricken has asked us to pray for healthy marriages and family life, recognizing that this vocation builds up the body of Christ.
Parish ministers, volunteers, and leaders come from all the vocations. Single people, priests and deacons, religious, and married people serve as catechists, on parish councils, as marriage preparation teams, as trustees and committee members, on parish staff, and as pastors, parish directors and coordinators.
This week as the Scriptures remind us of God’s invitation, and as we pray for various vocations during the Prayer of the Faithful, perhaps we also need to consider what else God might be asking of us, and who else God might be calling to service in the church, and do whatever we can to assist them in hearing the call and responding.
Sr. Rehrauer is the diocesan director of Evangelization and Worship.