27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
There are a variety of optical illusion personality tests. Two interpretations of the same picture can easily be made. If you see this first, then you are this personality. This came to mind reading Isaiah and John’s parable of the vineyard. What do we see first in the story?
The violence and greed of the tenants are quite apparent, as is the lack of crops. We see the Lord’s wrath set against those whose failure destroyed what the owner had done. He looked for judgment but saw bloodshed! For justice but hark the outcry! Jesus goes further in pointing the finger at the chief priests and the elders who failed their people. We want to say, well, they deserved it! Is this what we see first: wrath and destruction?
Or do we look to the landowner who plants the vineyard carefully, providing tenants to bring forth the produce protecting it with a hedge to keep it safe? His love for his vineyard and its people is so great that he keeps sending servants and even his own son to make it fruitful. Do we see the love and care of a God who will never stop loving and caring for us?
Today, we are the tenants who have been given the vineyard of the Church and our world by a loving God who asks us to bring forth life and hope. What do others see in us? The violence and greed of tenants who act out of selfishness. Who closes gates to keep out those on the margins?
Or do they see a Eucharistic people who know they live in the Spirit filled with God’s love and fullness? Are we living what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and gracious?
How am I called to tend the vineyard today?
Let us pray:
Gracious God. You never stop trying to reach us to make us your partners in bringing forth life and love in our world. May your Spirit deep within us overflow in our lives, enabling us to accept, embrace, and love all we encounter this day! Amen.