Back in college, we were asked to do a write up about the topics that were recently discussed in class. My friend and I decided to choose different topics, so it won’t be too obvious that our works were a collaboration. The topic I chose was my favorite, and I even remember citing O.J. Simpson’s case as an example. It was a work coming from my heart, and I was sure that I would be able to get at least a 1.75 for it.
The papers were returned, and mine was marked of a proud 1.5 on top. I felt more than satisfied with a guaranteed job well done.
Until my I saw my friend’s paper. Because hers was a whooping 1.25.
I am a liar if I would say that I didn’t feel a pang of insecurity. I thought my paper was good enough to merit the highest grade. Did I complain? Yes. I much as I wanted to keep it to myself, I wondered aloud why she got a higher score than me.
This is what I remember when I read today’s gospel (Matthew 20:1-16). As Jesus told the people the story about the workers in the vineyard, I was reminded of my old self, and my sometimes present self. I always am expecting the best outcome for a job well done, and complain whenever I think that what I received in return isn’t even with what I did. But the gospel made me realize that, of course, not all the time, I’m doing a job very well. A lot of failures and misdeeds have happened with me, but the Lord still gave me the same amount of love He always give me – through my triumphs and my despair, He showers me with His grace so that I may overcome them.