Monday, September 29, 2014
Like our fall harvest, we are to be the good fruits of God's vineyard
by Sister Ann Rehrauer
The Parable of the Vineyard in Matthew is one in a series in
chapters 21 and 22, describing the Kingdom of God. It's a
perfect reading for this time of the year when all of us are
focused on harvesting the vegetables from our gardens, or
purchasing the fruits of others' labor at farmers' markets.
We know how hard we work to facilitate growth and how much we look
forward to the good things we've planted and nurtured. We
also know how disappointed we are if drought or birds or bugs
destroy our crops.
God planted a vineyard (Israel) and expected a fruitful harvest of justice and care for the poor. Instead, the "tenants" of the vineyard gave back little. When God sent the prophets and finally his own Son to call the people to greater responsibility, they treated the messengers badly and even killed some. So God's promise and choice passed to a new people, the Church.
As members of this "new Israel," you and I are called to bring forth the fruits enumerated by Paul in his letter to the Philippians: being honorable, just and gracious -- doing what we have learned and seen and heard from the Scriptures and from the example of the apostles and all true believers.
This week as we enjoy fresh tomatoes, squash, and other garden produce, may it remind us that we are called to be the harvest of justice for God's Kingdom -- which includes graciously sharing what we have and who we are with those in need.