Summary: Reminds me of my parent’s motto: Gardening Forever... Housework Whenever.
God is a Devoted Gardener of a vineyard, and we are the stewards of it.
Reminds me of my parent’s motto: Gardening Forever... Housework Whenever.
We could see our Readings today in terms of practices that produce good grapes or bad grapes.
1). The vineyard in our First Reading is described as a first class estate, like something in Napa Valley—fertile hillside, choicest vines, even security with a watchtower, but it disappointingly produced only sour, bitter grapes.
Similarly, our Gospel text teaches that when God sent his son to us, we killed him as though we were corrupt vineyard workers.
To illustrate, a pastor said that many years ago he had a member of his staff who had problems getting things done. This happened on a number of occasions. At the time, the pastor had a mentor who was helping him understand the dynamics of leadership. The mentor gave him an interesting piece of advice, "You can make a faithful man able, but you can't make an able man faithful."
The mentor was making the point of trustworthiness in stewardship. Having the ability to get the job done is not enough; one has to be faithful, as a steward, to actually carry through.
It may mean being countercultural.
Jesus is the stone the builders rejected, e.g. Last Sunday, was Respect Life Sunday. Some are rejected before they are even born.
But Jesus has become the corner stone.
Christ was rejected that we might be reconciled to God.
He can also help us with feelings of rejection, hurt and despair.
There is a man hanging on a cross who says to us, “I saw so much potential in you that I gave my life up for you, so that you might live.”
It is easy for us to be discouraged when we see the problems in the world today. But the parable of the wicked tenants tells us that history is under God’s control. Lord’s sovereign plan for all things.
2. St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians in our Second Reading tell us how produce a harvest of good grapes—
“Think about truth, honor, justice, purity, loveliness, and graciousness, excellence , and praise”; these are the mind-sets that should occupy the destiny of Christians in order to harvest good grapes.
Paul says, “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Note that the verse says "prayer, petition, with thanksgiving," which are three aspects or types of prayer. THEN the peace of God will come.
Note the word "then"--it has a kind of consecutive force, like "so", "then" the peace of God, not simply the Pax Romana or the absence of war or external conflict but the peace with God who has peace and gives peace, and this peace will control the way you think and feel; note the involves the faculty of thinking.
He uses the word "guard" as in the peace will keep or hold custody and confine and protect you from the inside which is the center of each person from which thoughts and attentions flow.
So that we can stewards who produce a good grapes for the Lord.