Daily Gospel Reflection for August 20, 2014



Today’s Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16

“[Or] am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous? Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Mt 20:15)

Today’s gospel reading is the parable of the landowner who paid all the workers the same no matter what time they showed up for work. Those who showed up at the last minute got the same pay as those who worked all day. Those who worked all day are envious and they don’t think it’s fair.

But this parable is not about fairness. This parable is about God’s abundant love and generosity. And mercy. 

Salvation is not earned. Salvation is not deserved. Salvation is a gift. And God wants us with Him, even if we show up at the vineyard at the last minute.

Sometimes I have heard people ask, what good is it for us to be faithful our whole lives if we can just make a deathbed confession and be saved?

I can only answer that for me, a life without God, a life without knowing I am loved so abundantly, is an empty life. Those who come to the vineyard earlier have had a life filled with God’s love and graces. 

I myself am a prodigal daughter returned. I only wish I had come home to the Father earlier.

“There is no greater misfortune than to live and die without knowing God.” – St. Claudine Thevenet


What does God’s “grace” mean to you? 

In what ways have you experienced God’s generosity and mercy? 


Dear Lord, help me to pray for those who have not yet come to work at your vineyard. Help me to welcome all who come, early or late. Thank you, Lord, for all the graces you have given me, undeserved as they are. Amen.

Copyright 2014 Colleen Spiro


About Author

Colleen Spiro is a Catholic mother, grandmother and a deacon’s wife. A certified spiritual director, Colleen loves to share her faith and encourage others through her retreats and writings. You can read her reflections at her website, Catholic Prayer Life and read or listen to her podcast at Finding God in the Everyday.


  1. Colleen, thank you for sharing an insight from your own experience. As a lifelong Catholic (at times more faith-filled than others) I fear that I’ve sometimes pondered the question you mention above. But today’s gospel combined with the first reading from Ez 34 is a potent reminder that those of us who have been graced with a faith life (a gift from God, freely given regardless of our “merit”) are shepherds, called to nurture and share that gift with others. So today, instead of thinking about what my “pay” will be, I am praying for the grace to put others before myself and to care for the “sheep” entrusted to me. Have a beautiful day!

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