Taking Care of Our Vineyard (27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 5, 2014)

I look at the state of the world today and there are eerie similarities to Sunday’s First Reading and Gospel. Truly, the vineyard of the Lord is a mess. The tenants of the vineyard? Well, you can draw your own conclusions.

But let’s remember that we too are tenants. We foul our earth with everything from cigarette butts to furniture that served its purpose. Plant and animal life is expendable. So is human life. Those who warn of the dangers to come are lonely voices trying to be heard above the chorus of “Who cares. I’ve got mine.”

Into this situation comes the voice of the vineyard’s owner: “What more was there to do for my vineyard that I had not done?”

Think about that: What more can God do to convince the world’s peoples that the threats to human and spiritual well-being are very real and very serious?

The Bible and the Koran both seen by their adherents as the Word of God. Both are filled with prescriptions for human security and peace. Yes, both books also contain passages that foster and bless violence, but those are the great minority. Those are the passages that are cherry-picked by those who simply want an excuse to wreck verbal and physical destruction on their world. This is not the way of God as revealed to us by Jesus.

Paul, in the Second Reading, provides us with a beautiful roadmap for a good life that will reap copious fruit: Instead of worrying, pray. Instead of fearing, trust. When all you can see are the bad and the ugly, fill your minds and reflect instead on those things that are noble, true, reputable, authentic, compelling, and gracious. Furthermore, don’t just reflect, but do those things that are true, gracious, authentic, etc.

Please, O Lord, help me to make my piece of the vineyard a place of beauty and to help others do the same.

Be God’s smile for someone today!

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