A43 Skit for Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“It Isn’t Fair”

September 18, 2005

Written by Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright ©2005 Joan Y. Edwards

 

Matthew 20:1-16 New American Bible

 

 

Characters:

Narrator

Vineyard Owner

Foreman

Dawn Worker 1

Dawn Worker 2 (Sam)

9 o’clock Workers

12 o’clock Noon Workers

3 o’clock Workers

Two 5 o’clock Workers

Mr. Hill

Older Son

Younger Son

Young Daughter

Judy

Sarah

David

Jean

 

Narrator:  The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.

Vineyard Owner:  I see you two are here early looking for work.  I’ll give each of you $120.00 to work in my vineyard picking grapes until 6:00 p.m.

Dawn Workers:  We will be glad to pick grapes until 6:00 p.m. today for $120.00.


Narrator:  At 9:00, 12:00 Noon, and 3:00 the Vineyard Owner went back to the marketplace and found more workers standing around without a job.  He said to each of them:

(Have signs saying 6:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 3:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. On the other side the signs say:  Worked 12 hours, Worked 9 hours, Worked 6 hours, Worked 3 hours, Worked 1 Hour)

 

Vineyard Owner:  I’ll give each of you a just salary to work in my vineyard picking grapes until 6:00 p.m.

 

9:00 Workers:  We’ll be glad to pick grapes until 6:00 p.m. today for a just salary.

                       (sign saying 3 hours later …walk across stage)

Vineyard Owner:  I’ll give each of you a just salary to work in my vineyard picking grapes until 6:00 p.m.

 

12:00 Noon Workers:  We’ll be glad to pick grapes until 6:00 p.m. today for a just salary.

                       (sign saying 3 hours later …walk across stage)

 

Vineyard Owner:  I’ll give each of you a just salary to work in my vineyard picking grapes until 6:00 p.m.

 

3:00 p.m. Workers:  We’ll be glad to pick grapes until 6:00 p.m. today for a just salary.

                       (sign saying 2 hours later …walk across stage)

 

Narrator  At 5:00 in the afternoon, the Vineyard Owner went back to the marketplace and found  2 more workers standing around without a job.

 

Vineyard Owner  Why are you standing here at the eleventh hour doing no work at all?

 

5 o’clock Worker 1 No one has hired us.

5 o’clock Worker 2 We went to five other marketplaces looking for work, but had no luck.

5 o’clock Worker 1 We need money to buy food for our families. 

 

Vineyard Owner Would you go into my vineyard and work until 6:00 p.m?  I will pay you a just wage.

 

5 o’clock Workers We’ll be glad to work in your vineyard until 6:00 p.m. today for a just wage.

 

Narrator  When it was 6:00 p.m. on the dot, the owner walked out to the foreman of the workers in his vineyard.

 

Vineyard Owner  Call the workers and give them the full daily pay, beginning with the last workers and ending with the first workers.

(Foreman goes and gives the 5 o’clock workers $120.00, the usual daily wage.  They did cartwheels they were so happy.) 

 

Narrator   He gave the same amount to all of the workers:  Three o’clock, Noon, and Nine o’clock.  When the foreman came to the two who were hired at Dawn and worked the longest….12 long hours, he heard them talking:

 

Dawn Worker 1 Did you see that?  He gave those who started at 9 o’clock $120.00.  We worked three hours longer than they did.  Therefore, he will give us more.

 

Dawn Worker 2 (Sam) Yes. That is the fair thing to do. 

 

Foreman (to the Dawn Workers) Here is your pay.  Each of you receives $120.00.

 

Dawn Worker 1   Wait a minute here.  That’s not fair.

Dawn Worker 2 (Sam)   Yeah, it’s not fair.  We worked longer than any of those other workers.  We should get paid more.

Foreman   Don’t tell me.  I’m just following orders.  If you want to grumble, go see the owner of this vineyard. 

(Hired Worker Number 1 and 2 walk grouchily over to the landowner to complain.  They knock and then barge in when he is eating supper. )

 

Vineyard Owner (sitting down at supper) Why are you so angry?

 

Dawn Worker 1 You paid the last workers the same as you paid us.    

 

Dawn Worker 2 (Sam) We stayed out there working up a sweat for 12 hours picking grapes in 100 degree weather.  They only had to sweat for one measly hour.  It’s not fair. 

 

Vineyard Owner   (To both workers) It seems you think I cheated you out of money.  Both of  you agreed to work in my vineyard for the usual daily wage, which was $120. Didn’t you? (Both if them shake their heads, Yes.) Take what is yours and go. It was my money.  I can choose to give my money as a gift as I wish. These last two men also needed money to buy food for their families. I wanted to help them. 

 

Dawn Worker 1 Sam and I really thought you would give us more since we worked longer than they did.

 

Vineyard Owner You think you should have been first, and they should be last.  You think you should have gotten the most, and they should have gotten the least.  Do not judge others.  When you do the last will be first and the first will be last.

 

Narrator The owner of the Vineyard may not have been fair, but he was merciful. 

Mr. Hill, a parishioner at St. John Neumann has yard work that needs to be done around his home.  He has one younger son, and older son and 1 daughter.  He needs help. At 3:00 p.m. he asks his older son to help him.  Let’s see what happens. 

 

Mr. Hill:  Will you do yard work for three hours for $25.00?  

Older Son:  Yes, I will.  I’ll rake the leaves, mow the grass, and plant new seeds.   

 

Narrator:  At 4:00 p.m., Mr. Hill’s son came home. 

 

Mr. Hill:  Will you do yard work for two hours for $16.00?

Younger Son:  Yes, I will.  I’ll trim the hedges and cut the lowest branches from the trees.

 

Narrator:  At 5:00 p.m., Mr. Hill’s daughter came home. 

Mr. Hill:  Will you do yard work for one hour for $8.00?

Younger Daughter:  Yes, I will.  I will get the weeds out of the flower garden in the front yard.

 

Narrator:  At the end of the three hours, Mr. Hill came out and paid his daughter, $25.00.  He paid his younger son, $25.00, and he paid his older son, $25.00. 

 

Older Son:  That’s not fair.

Mr. Hill:  What’s not fair, my son.

Older Son:  I worked three hours out in the hot son.  My younger brother and sister didn’t work as long as I did, yet they got paid the same amount as me. 

Mr. Hill:  Didn’t you agree to do yard work for 3 hours for $25.00?

Older Son:  Yes, but since you gave them more, I thought you would give me more, too.

Mr. Hill:  I just appreciated getting all the yard work done that I wanted to give each of you the same amount.  

 

Narrator:  Mr. Hill may not have been fair, but he was merciful.  Judy, a member of the SJN youth group was having a party.  In order to come to her party, each guest had to bring something to share with the homeless shelter. (Judy stands at the door, greeting her guests.)

 

Sarah  I brought a pack of notebook paper, a box of crayons, and a pair of scissors for the homeless.

Judy  Thank you.  Come on in. 

David  I brought 3 notebooks, 3 boxes of crayons, and 3 pair of scissors for the homeless, and a bookbag.

Judy  Thank you.  Come on in.

Jean  I’m sorry.  I didn’t have any money to buy something for the homeless.

Judy  That’s okay.  Come on in.  You can help me sort and package everything, and take it to the shelter.

David and Sarah  That’s not fair to let her in.  She didn’t bring anything for the homeless.

 

Judy This is my party.  It is my gift to all I invited.  You are right.  It is not fair that I let Jean in.  But, it is the loving, compassionate thing to do.  This is what Jesus would do.  It is my choice to follow in his footsteps. 

 

Narrator Judy may not have been fair, but she was loving, compassionate, and merciful.  And so the people at St. John Neumann Catholic Church still choose to be happy for those who receive more than they do. They are thankful for God’s gifts. They leave the judging of what is fair and not fair to God himself. They show love, forgiveness and compassion to others.  When they get to the pearly gates of heaven, God will say, “Come on in.  I am so glad you came my way.”