Are you a good steward of God’s Vineyard?
Based on the readings from; Isaiah 5:1-7, Psalm 80, Philippians 4:6-9, Matthew 21:33-43
For the 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time
By Rev. Bob Johnnene OFD, Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus/ Franciscans Divine Mercy
The readings today all center on Vineyards which is symbolic of the church and how we care for the church as its stewards or tenants.
Are we good tenants or are we like those in the Gospel, greedy and willing to commit all kinds of crimes to achieve our personal goal of riches, fame, fortune and power and control?
The tenants in the Gospel referred to the chief priests and religious and political leaders of Christ’s time. And the son of the owner in the Gospel was of course, Christ, who would be killed so that the tenants could have their way and gain the riches of the vineyard.
The landowner is of course God himself, who has given us this world to care for, cultivate and protect, a job I am not entirely sure we are doing a good job of either.
The gospel includes one of the very powerful passages and sayings that is so often true; “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone, the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eye”
So often the person who is attempting to bear good news or lead people to do what is just and right is often rejected and mocked. Christ was rejected by his own town people and his message of compassion and mercy was not what the leaders of the Jewish and Roman nation wanted to hear.
Sadly today, we seem to be living in a time where the only thing that matters to far too many people is fame, power, wealth and the needs of the aged, sick, poor and homeless could not be cared for. Some politicians would have those programs, which do help those in need have a somewhat normal way of live and at least the necessities of life, done away with.
Basically, God has given us the tools, the instructions and the way to achieve everlasting life and to have a happy life here on earth. None of those things includes being greedy, exerting domination over the others, accumulating massive amounts of wealth without sharing with those who are less fortunate.
We are the tenants here on God’s good earth and we need to treat it and it’s occupants with respect and love, just as God has showed his love by sending his son to suffer and die for our sins so we could gain everlasting life.
We can only gain that goal by living in accord with what Christ taught us and by being good tenants of God’s vineyard.
Let us not reject the “living stone” Christ and His teaching, but build a strong world upon that “living stone”
Let us live the Sermon on the Mount, and practice in our daily lives what it advises us to do. Let us have compassion for the poor, aged, sick, homeless, and those who are suffering from addiction and other mental problems rather than seeking our own self-interests, fame, wealth and power.
If we do not change the direction the word seems to be going, we must also remember the promise of what God would do if the tenants failed to care properly and respect God’s vineyard and rejected the son; “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” AMEN