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Friday, March 23, 2018 25° Mostly cloudy

Is God unfair?


By Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD

In a dream a man saw himself walking on a beach with the Lord, carrying someone in his arms. He was envious.

Jesus felt his envious tone when he asked: “Lord, why are you carrying him and not me?” Jesus replied: “It’s because he has arthritis and you have none.”

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The gospel in this 25th Sunday relates about envious people, too.In Christ’s parable, the workers who were hired in the morning complained and protested that they were paid the same wage as those hired in the afternoon. “A gross injustice,” they grumbled.

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Legally, there’s no injustice because the deal was covered by a personal contract. There was mutual agreement between the workers and employer on the wage. “Did we not agree on one denarius?” (Mt 20,13).

The parable shows the owner to be both just and generous. He is just to the first workers, and generous to those who were hired later.

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Yet, like the first workers, we have every reason to feel uncomfortable about the whole arrangement. Something is wrong. In business, one doesn’t work out this way, otherwise he would be courting strikes and unrest among his regular employees.

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What Christ is saying, in effect, is that God is kind, merciful, and generous–much more than any human being can ever be. As enunciated in the first reading, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways.”

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In life we can, like the first workers in the parable, feel envious about people who’re blessed–more good-looking, more intelligent, more gifted than we. In this case, it’s not a question of how many but HOW one uses those gifts. For instance, you may be a genius but if you use your intelligence to cheat and swindle, then no doubt you’re misusing God’s gift.

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Or, sometimes we may be tempted to complain of the good fortune of others who care nothing about God while we who work hard, trying to be good, are lagging behind.

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Or, we try to live as good Christians, and somebody comes along and in a few minutes makes peace with God and presto, goes to heaven. We sulk and say, “It’s unfair.”

The story of the good thief on the cross is a classic example. We admire how this thief succeeded in stealing no less than heaven! But it was his steadfast faith and trust in the Lord that did it.

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If God wants to be overly generous with such people, that is his business. In the gospel, the employer, signifying God, says, “I am free to do as I please, am I not?”

Instead of complaining or looking around green-eyed at what gifts others have, we should concentrate on how we can improve or rise from our adversities and deficiencies.

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As a businessman, who rose from rags to riches, once said, “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth so I worked hard to put one there.”

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    Of course life is generally unfair and God is UNFAIR at least to our country’s setting. Look at those high government officials who plunder/plundered our government coffers, they live a life of abundance, some with multiple families. Yes, they even hear Sunday masses regularly. And God gives them more blessings. What is this lokohan? We, the hoi polloi, break our back to earn an honest peso but more often than not the government does not adhere to the credo of the late Pres. Magsaysay “he who has less in life should have more in law”. Bang, bang, bang!!! Drug “suspek” ka paktay ka agad.


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