Sometimes in the world we live in we are pushed to think only about being number 1. As a teenager I had a love of windsurfing, and dreams that often outweighed my talent! I remember being desperate to buy a T-Shirt made by a company called “No Fear” and the slogan on it was “2nd place is 1st loser” and I wanted to wear it at a windsurfing race (obviously that I was due to win!!) Looking back on it now I wince slightly thinking of my youthful naivety and misguided competitiveness!
In the Gospel reading we are challenged to think about our motivation and how we are rewarded. In essence we are told how a landowner agreed to pay his workers before a long days work. At the eleventh hour some new people rock up and are paid the same. Immediately we can hear the common cry of “it’s so unfair” or “that’s out of order”, perhaps a phrase common in school life. What Jesus is teaching is that we need to get over it and not worry about recognition and personal glory. God loves us all equally and unconditionally, it doesn’t matter when we “join the party” as in a journey of faith we are welcomed with open arms.
Our theme of humility this week brings this all into focus. So a few final thoughts and reflections.
- How can we do things that are right and good without worrying about recognition?
- We can make a real commitment to rejoicing in every individual’s happiness and success, even it comes good at the last minute. This can be especially important for students.
- How can we challenge students to see that all God wants is for them to make the most of their potential? When we accept this it is actually really liberating as we are not constantly comparing ourselves to others. This sounds like a very “growth mindset” message in the Gospel – Carol Dweck would be so proud!
I hope we can continue to celebrate every person’s growth, faith and achievements with vitality and joy. We can look to be role models in the way we teach and lead. By trying to show humility it can help us do things for the right reasons not in the hope that we will be noticed, rewarded on no.1.
Have a great week. God bless.