One of my first parishes was based in a very Irish area in North London, England. It was very common at that time for young men looking for construction jobs, to wait around in the town centre, until a truck stopped and a manager chose a dozen or so for work that day.
This scenario is very close to that described by Jesus in this Sunday’s Gospel parable. Obviously, the men chosen first for work would have been the fittest and strongest. Imagine how you would feel if you didn’t get chosen for work day after day because of some weakness and disability.
The point Jesus is making in this parable is that recruitment for work in the Kingdom of God is based on very different criteria than the world. As far as God is concerned, the only qualification is willingness. It doesn’t matter to God if you suffer from physical, mental, emotional or spiritual disabilities. He still wants to use you for the work of spreading the gospel and building up the Kingdom of God.
Another point is equally important. The “wage” for doing the Lord’s work is life in heaven. There is nothing greater good this. It doesn’t matter whether you have been working for the Lord for thirty years or thirty minutes (remember the good thief on the cross besides the dying Christ?) You can’t receive more than one gift of eternal life, no matter how many years you have been in the Lord’s service!