Today’s Gospel about the workers of the last hour reminds me of my personal pilgrimage experience from 3 years ago. Today I wanted to share with you what I discovered then:
“The alley towards Jasna Góra in Częstochowa, 8:15 am, there is still a pleasant chill of the morning in the air. I walk proudly at the front of the pilgrimage, with a lively step, because the painkillers for my tendinitis already started working. In my heart I carry many intentions, but also the hardships of the last days of the journey. Suddenly, in the midst of the thoughts of meeting the Marry and Jesus, for whom I am going on this pilgrimage and to whom I have devoted my whole life, a completely different idea appears. I thought of all the people that have joined us during the weekend or even on the last day before entering Częstochowa and were now walking with us in the same alley. After all, they did not have to endure the terrible heat, they did not come to the medics in the evenings with symptoms of allergy to asphalt, their legs did not hurt, they did not have corns on their feet and they were not taken them from the route by an ambulance. They did not fold wet tents and they were not bitten by mosquitoes during the evenings. So how can they come to Jasna Góra Monastery with us? Will it be fair?
And then suddenly I felt terribly stupid, because as never before, I understood the parable of the workers of the last hour (Matthew 20: 1-16). I saw myself claiming my due so perfectly, even though I had an appointment with God for a denarius. And I got much more than a denarius, because it was not in Częstochowa that was the best, but during the whole journey – I met beautiful people, I experienced the real closeness of Jesus in my suffering, I had the opportunity to share my relationship with God and talk to people who were also looking for Him. I experienced a lot of joy and selfless help, I praised God with all my heart by singing and I laughed every now and then. Did I really envy those who came on the last day and entered Jasna Gora among us? Not at all!
That day I understood how perfidious Satan’s whispers can be, how he easily manages to reduce my thinking to a simple comparison. However, when I start to think about it, it turns out very quickly that whoever came on the pilgrimage at the last day, actually wanted to go from the beginning, but did not get any leave from work; the one who asks for something to eat on the street has never dreamed of being homeless; the last-minute convert is not the most lucky one, because he missed out on a lot of good, investing in everlasting parties.
There is only one question worth asking – am I living the best I can? There is a saying that goes, “If anyone judges your way, lend him your shoes” and there is a lot of truth to it. Looking with jealousy or pity at another person, I have no idea what he has gone through in life and whether the path he is going is the best one. But surely then I do not have time to love him which is the most important.”