October 4, 2020
Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Hear another parable.” This is how our Gospel for this weekend begins. As always, Jesus is teaching something important. Today’s theme is about cultivation and acceptance. God takes time and effort to cultivate His vineyard. He takes care of His people, corrects them when they need “pruning” and sends gardeners in to make sure that all is well as they grow. But the people of His vineyard are, unlike grapes, free to accept or reject the work and attention of this loving God. We can cooperate with His plan for us and allow Him to bring us to growth as people of faith, hope and love. We can also, if we choose, ignore all that God does for us, becoming more and more self-absorbed as we go through life. In the end, this is the path to dryness, sadness and resentment. The good news is that God keeps coming back to the people of His vineyard. Time and time again He sends His caregivers to His people, ultimately sending even His Son. We know how this was played out during the time of Jesus: the rejection, plotting and fear that resulted in His arrest, passion and death. But a good question to ask ourselves is: How is this played out in our own time? First of all, remember that when we speak of “the time of Jesus” we are, in fact, speaking of NOW. This is the time of Jesus, the Risen Christ, who calls us to be His people, consecrates us in baptism, strengthens us through the Holy Spirit in confirmation, and gives us Himself in the Eucharist. We, His vineyard, have the chance to accept this holy cultivation and become the people we are meant to be. As we celebrate the season of Autumn, and especially on this feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, we can see the beauty of God’s creation around us. May our prayer be that we accept Christ more deeply in our hearts so that we may truly become “the vineyard of the Lord” living out our faith every day.