Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(Ezekiel 34:1-11; Matthew 20:1-16)
The lay woman was complaining about the injustice to religious sisters two generations ago. She reiterated the fact that those valiant women labored in Catholic schools for thirty dollars a month. Then the woman compared that system with the current way teachers receive less than counterparts in business. Was the system back then really unjust? And how about the current payment of teachers: is it fair?
As always it is necessary to consider the context when evaluating moral actions. The sisters had vowed to a life of poverty. Also, the people they served were often poor themselves. They sacrificed themselves for the glory of God and the benefit of the children they served. They may be equated to the workers in today’s gospel that bear the day’s heat only to receive the minimum of support. But unlike at least one of those workers, they did not grumble.
In God’s Kingdom all workers receive a just wage. That wage takes account of family needs as well as the principle of equal pay for equal work. Of course, it is no simple matter to balance all claims to justice. Nevertheless, it should be said that teachers have an enormous responsibility. When they fulfill it faithfully, they do deserve an income commensurate with peers in industry. They also merit our appreciation and gratitude.