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Thus the last will be first, and the first, last

Matthew 20:16
Isaiah 55:6-9; Psalms 145:2-3,8-9,17-18; Philippians 1:20-24,27; Matthew 20:1-16

The story of the field laborers in today’s Gospel Lesson begins with Jesus’ statement, “Now the Kingdom of Heaven is like …” (Mt.. 20:1).

The owner of the vineyard hires some field workers and agrees to pay them a fair wage …

After they have worked for several hours, he hired additional workers. When the day’s work is over, he pays the first workers the agreed upon wage and he pays those who came later the same wage. Whereupon the first workers who labored longer than the others register their discontent. “You have treated them the same as us,” they grumble. To which the owner replies, “Why be envious because I am generous?”

Jesus then concludes the parable saying, “Thus the last will be first, and the first, last” (Mt. 20:16).

There is another Gospel parable in which Jesus concludes with these words: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted” (Lk. 14:11).

Pronouncing such maxims…

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