SEPTUAGESIMA – MONDAY
LESSON: MATTHEW 6:25-33
Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. Matthew 6:33
The denarius represents the temporal welfare of men, and the favor of the household their eternal welfare. Both groups in the parable receive a denarius, an equal amount for their earthly sustenance.
Those described in the parable as “the last” did not seek as much pay as the others; all this was an additional gift to them because they sought the kingdom of God first (Matthew 6:33). On top of all this, they also receive the grace which brought them eternal life, and they were happy and joyful.
“The first,” however, seek what is temporal; they accept the engagement and work for this only. For this reason, they miss out on grace and earn hell with all their heavy toil. For the former, “the last,” do not suffer from the presumption that they have actually earned the denarius; yet they get everything. When “the first” see this, they delude themselves into thinking that they should obtain much more, and they miss out on everything.
As we see clearly when we examine the hearts of those two groups, “the last” do not pay attention to their merits or deserts, but they partake of the Lord’s goodness. “The firsts,” however, pay no attention to the Lord’s goodness, but look only to their own deserts and regard the payment as due for their service and complain about the householder’s goodness.
PRAYER: Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus, for your undeserved and full salvation, which you bestow on us feely and without cost through the ministrations of your holy Church. Amen.