For one thing, St. John's pastor, Rev. Luis Leon, delivered a sermon that day that dealt with Matthew 20:1-16.
Apparently the parable tells of a landowner who needed to have his
crop harvested quickly, and at the end of the day he
paid those who had only worked for the final hour the same amount that he
paid those who had labored in the heat throughout the entire day.
According to Rev. Leon
, "The full-day workers believed in the world of merit, not the world of grace.
In their eyes, according to the pastor, the owner's graciousness was seen as injustice.
Instead of seeing themselves as selfish or self-absorbed, they saw the landowner as unfair, and the tragedy, Rev. Leon
congregation, is that they estranged themselves from the source of graciousness.
The pastor, it seems, believes that payment should be determined not according to ability or even effort, but simply according to need.
Or, in other words, he
was making a case for the redistribution of wealth.
I'm sure he
got a big shout-out from at least one person in the congregation that day.