The God of Grace
We are the five o’clock workers!
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.” Matt 20:1-16
i believe we are the five o’clock workers, given the times we live in, i believe it is the 5 o’clock hour.
This parable shows the mercy and grace of the Lord to me more than any other. I am the five o’clock worker at his worst, because i was not there at 6am like a lot of others (spiritually speaking) i came when all the others were picked,already out working, i came when, “i wanted to come” at 5.pm. cause i didn’t want it. i didn’t need it, but most of all. I didn’t deserve it.
Max Lucado writes this about the parable, “five in the afternoon. tell me. what is a worker still doing in the yard at 5:00 in the afternoon? the best have long since gone. the mediocre workers went at lunch. The last string went at 3:00. What kind of worker is left at 5pm?
All day they get passed by. they were unskilled. Untrained. Uneducated. They are handing with one hand from the bottom of the ladder. They are absolutely dependant upon the merciful boss giving them a chance they don’t deserve.” ( The Final Week of Jesus)
But that was me, and He came back at the end of the day for me. Everyone else was gone. i was the only one standing there.
Broken,rejected,depressed,alone. Yet He came, for ME.
He offered me everything that He offered the guys that went at 6am. I got the same deal. With all the benefits.
He offered me life ! His mercy and grace overlooked my tardiness.
His mercy can never be matched.
So what time are you going to show up?
The time has come. He is making you the offer,all you need to do is accept it. It will not be 5:00 much longer!
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” Luke 12:32
Have a blessed day
Yea, it started like any other night me and Keith met over at the bar, we were having fun joking and singing to Bobby Darin’s “beyond the sea”. We went into the bathroom to snort a couple of lines, but we wind up snorting the whole gram. Wow, we were fueled up! I said I was going to go back to my house to grab a couple more grams, to sell. So I went home got 3 grams and put them in my sock, I went back to the bar and started drinking again with Keith. As were talking he said something about some guy Snyder dealing up at the college parking lot, which pissed me off. I thought that I needed another hit of blow, so we went back into the bathroom and did not come out for about 30 minutes, people pounding on the door, yelling get the “—-“ out of the bathroom! Were in there laughing wasted after doing another gram. I told Keith lets go up to the college, we jumped into the car and drove up there. Now, in my mind, “what little of it that was left”. I was seeing red, all I could think of was I felt like killing someone! How you may ask? I acquired a stolen 38.cal police pistol from a friend at work over in crooklyn, and that is the gun I had on me that night. We got up to the lot and started to hang out with people we knew there was always 75 or 100 people hanging out up there, then Keith said there’s Snyder, I bugged! I walked over to him, took out the 38, put it to his head, and said, “I think I am going to kill you tonight!” I could see the fear in his eyes, the kind of fear like when you know its the end. I pulled the hammer back, and then Keith comes from behind and grabs my hand. Bobby, man, what the hell are you doing? Come on; let’s get the hell out of here! I don’t know why. All I know is that looking back I am glad Keith was there. I would have killed that poor kid who did nothing to me. I would be in jail for the rest of my life. There was no doubt that, that night I would have pulled the trigger! About 2 hours later I was up at the Roadhouse bar on clove road drinking with some friends, I went to the pay phone to call my dad, as I am talking to him I am looking into the chrome part of the phone, and all I see is cops with guns out. I hear a voice, “don’t move, put the phone down and put your hands on your head,” I feel the cold cuffs go on one wrist, as the cop turns me around all I see is a bar full of cops with all their guns pointing at me. The cuff goes on the other wrist, and as he pats me down he feels the gun in my belt under my jacket. In the car I go for the ride down to the 120th precinct, their asking me “where did you get this gun?” I told them that, “the Easter bunny gave it to me in an Easter egg”. So they get me down to the cells take the cuffs off and tell me “this is your home for the night.” Now I had all ready been up stairs, called my dad, who within seconds is on the phone with his lawyer. Here I am sitting in this cell my mind racing, when I have this moment of sanity, they found the gun! But, they did not find the other 2 grams of coke in my sock! But they will! Unless? I took them out of my sock I put one under the bunk, the other I snort. In jail snorting coke! A couple of hours later a cop comes down and said your lawyer is up stairs you can go see him. But after that they are taking you over to central booking in Brooklyn. On the way into central booking i get these two cops who happen to be very nice. they start telling me about what i can expect when i get there. I thought that was pretty cool. So i get there,go through the system and get put into this big holding cell with about 20 other guys. I sit down, trying to mind my own business, still a little buzzed from the coke, this jackass comes over to me and said, “nice jacket” now i was wearing a nice Hugo Boss sport jacket. so he says to me, “take it off and give it to me!” i knew that this was not going to end well for my jacket, but i was not going to let anyone touch me! As he stood in front of me waiting for me to give him the jacket i just looked up with a mousey look, ( to take him off guard) and hit him as hard as i possibly could right in the nuts! he hit the floor so fast i was amazed, now with everyone else looking at us i just got on his chest and hit him 5 quick shots in the nose to draw all the blood i could! the more mess the better. I then just took my seat and we watched him lay there for the next hour. I guess that settled the ownership issues of the “Hugo Boss” sport coat. There were no other problems for the next couple of hours, the cop comes in says “corrente your out” i go downstairs and there is my dad’s lawyer waiting for me, was i glad to see him. We get in to his car, and he tells his driver where to go,then we start talking. He had already got a copy of the 911 call that came in telling police where i am, what i am wearing, and where the gun is on my person. he plays the tape for me, i hear the voice, “snyder” i can’t believe he rat on me! even though when they asked his name he refused to give it, he said, “he’s crazy i don’t want him to kill me!” but i knew his voice and my first words were “i will kill him”, my lawyer said, “let it go,they know who it was that called them, you will spend the rest of your life in prison if you do this!” I still have that 911 tape till this day!
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So who is “little Danny cigars”? That’s my dad. That’s what they called him, friends anyway. There are others who called him other things, according to an article in The Chief on October 4th 1985 my father was portrayed by Mr.Haesloop as, “people who know mr.corrente describe him as volatile – Mr. Haesloop remarks, “his nickname was mad dog”. And Mr. Koslov says, Mr.Corrente told him, “if you get me transferred out of here, I’m gonna do everything in my power to get you transferred out. Once your transferred out, I’m gonna send people to your house to break your legs, and I’ll personally drink your blood.” Subsequently, Mr.Koslov was shot.
It was Easter Sunday; my mom was cooking enough for an army, as usual. A ham, lasagna, Easter bread, love mom’s Easter bread! A girl that I was going out with at the time was coming over for Easter dinner, (lets call her Jinny) she had heard my father was somehow “connected”, so I wanted to show her he was a regular guy and we were a normal family. Now how I was going to pull this off, I’ll never know. Maybe she will not notice the FBI sitting across the street, after all, that could be anyone? So we sit down to eat, everyone having a good time. About 30 minutes later the bell rings, I thought it was terry,my sister, then I hear it, “FBI we have a warrant for the arrest of Daniel G.Corrente Jr.” they come in the house and me and my dad are standing there, not surprised that they were here to arrest him, but on Easter Sunday? I thought the Easter bunny came that day, not the FBI! So they say to my dad, “mr.Corrente we have a warrant for your arrest, if you have any thing you need to put away, you can do that quickly.” As a matter of fact he was always packing that 32.cal and went in his room put it away got dressed, and came back out. These two agents were pretty nice guys as FBI agents go. Then they cuffed my dad and took him away. So much for convincing Jinny my dad was a regular guy!
April 16th 1985 New York Times reads: “21 in city charged with corruption at housing agency” my father’s name in the paper charged with, extortion, mail fraud, racketeering.
That was Easter Sunday at my house. Well me and my brother drove into the city the next morning to be at the arraignment in the federal court-house in Manhattan. That was a drive i will never forget. My brother made his own lanes the whole way there. We waited, finally they brought my father out, shackled feet, and hands to his waist.
The district attorney was standing there reading all the charges, all i could think was, ” I’ll never see my father again without bars in between us”. His bail was high but we posted it. Then the job to get a lawyer was at hand. My father got the best, Bruce Cutler, the same lawyer John Gotti had. there were a team of lawyers involved in this case. The feds offered a plea deal if my father would give up names of others that were involved. He rejected that deal with out even a thought, my dad was no “RAT”! Even though he was facing 14 charges that carried 10 years each,that was 140 years in prison. They decided to fight the feds. Months of perpetration, tens of thousands of dollars, and his day in court was finely here. It did not look good, but my father was a fighter. The feds had tape recordings, pictures, testimony from those rats that gave up my father. As trials go it was’nt that long, as jurys go, it was even shorter. As the jury formen read the verdict my heart droped, “Guilty on all counts”. The good news was he was sent to Loretto Federal correctional instution, located in Loretto, PA. It was a 7 hour drive from staten island but we did it every few weeks. I remember sitting across from my dad in this place, i cried. He told me, “never cry, im fine, we won.” that was hard to imagine taking into account where we were sitting. But in his mind, he was thinking, he kept his mouth shut and only got a few years, so i guess thats a win. I remember the day we went to pick him up, a big white strech limo showed up at our house, complaments of “the boys”, that was the best 7 hour drive we ever took. When we pulled up and went inside to get dad one of the prision guards remarked, ” you can always tell when one of the New York crew is leaving, they alway leave in a limo”. it was so good to have my father back, the world was right again.