Commentary of the Day

"You too go into my vineyard"
by Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604), Pope, Doctor of the Church

At no time did the Lord cease sending his people workmen to cultivate his vineyard..:. through the patriarchs, and later through the teachers of the law, and then through the prophets, and at last through the apostles, he labored at the cultivation of his vineyard as if by his workmen. Everyone, though, who had the right faith with good works... was a workman in his vineyard. And so the Hebrew people is meant by the workmen who came to the vineyard in the morning and during the third, sixth and ninth hours. In the persons of their elect, they eagerly worshipped God with right faith from the very beginning The Gentiles were called at the eleventh hour, and it was said to them: “Why do you stand here the whole day idle?” Those who neglected to labor for the whole of their lives, while so much of the world's history passed by, were like those standing by the whole day. But consider, my friends, what they answered when they were questioned. They said: “Because no one has hired us.” In truth no patriarch and no prophet had come to them. And did they mean when they said, “No one has hired us to labor,” if not “No one has preached to us the ways of life”? What, then, are we to say, to excuse ourselves for our having ceased from good works? We have come to the faith almost from our mothers' wombs, we have heard the words of life from our cradles, we have received divine preaching from the breasts of holy Church together with our mothers' milk!

    dailygospel.org


From: Homilies on the Gospel, no. 11 (©Cistercian Fathers series)