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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Meditation for Sunday: Are You a Fruitful Vineyard?

In the introduction to the Mass today in Magnificat, I read this:
The landowner who planted a vineyard presupposes that hired tenants can be trusted, that additional servants will be able to obtain his produce, and that, when all else fails, treacherous people will respect the sacrosanct relationship of father and son. In short the man is looking only for common decency. But in us even that fails. That is why Saint Paul pleads: "Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me." For at one time, he was like those murderous servants. But, converted to what is true, honorable, just, pure, and gracious, he proclaims that we are the cherished vineyard to whom the Father sends his Son.
It gave me an "aha" moment.
I've always though of the vineyard as the nation of Israel rather than each individual as a vineyard. But thinking of it that way changes everything and fills me with questions!
  • Do I own the vineyard or does it belong to the master vine grower who "planted" it on a "fertile hillside...spaded it, [and] cleared it of stones?" Do I have the right to do whatever I want with the vineyard when it doesn't really belong to me at all, but to the master? 
  • Am I a fruitful vineyard or am I filled with wild grapes despite everything the vinegrower has done to prune and fertilize me? 
  • Having been given so much by the master, how do I respond at harvest time? Do I resent and "kill" those who urge me to provide the master with the "produce" to which he has a right? Am I bad tenant to my vineyard?
  • Am I among those who deserve to have the Kingdom taken away and given to others who bear fruit?  
I'm currently reading Dietrich von Hildebrand's important work, Transformation in Christ. The first point he makes is that we must be willing and eager to change according to the will of God and not our own. He makes the distinction between the person who is changeable in the breeze with every novelty vs. the one who wishes to be changed by Christ.

May the Lord take all my weeds and rocks and barren soil and transform me into a vineyard that will produce choice grapes in season. I'm confident, despite all my thorns and burrs, the Lord can make something of me even it's only a house wine. 

Our Lady of Good Help, pray for us.

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