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Matthew 20, Parable of the Vineyard Workers, Bible, American Church, Ordination, Priesty Formation, Reform


The parable of the workers in the Lord’s vineyard in the Gospel of Matthew (20:1-16) provides an insight into the work of God in relation to building the Kingdom of God in our midst. This biblical story provides communities of faith, students of the bible, and people of goodwill with a witness to how God calls people to labor in God’s vineyard and who some of those laborers truly are. Thus, this paper will question who the laborers in the vineyard are in the context of the Church in the United States. Questions posed will challenge the kinds of persons recruited for orders and those who are ordained. Who are they? What are their true intentions? Do they have an authentic vocation? This paper will seek to answer these questions in four parts. The first section will define and debate the concept of the Kingdom of God by juxtaposing the definitions offered by Ratzinger and Romero. The second section will dive into the biblical narrative in Matthew (20:1-16). The third section will discuss the state of ecclesial ministry in the American Church as it relates to the biblical passage. Finally, the paper concludes with a call to action which provides a working framework for reforms that are grounded in the present reality of the Church and the People of God in the United States.