“Sing of love there could be” (Joseph Raposo/Carpenters)

by | Sep 30, 2014 | Formation, Reflections

Vincent EucharistTwenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (A), October 5, 2014 – Is 5, 1-7; Phil 4, 6-9; Mt 21, 33-43

Keep on doing what you have learned (Phil 4, 9)

The vineyard of the Lord is his people. He looks for choice and abundant harvest in them.

God has chosen us so we may bear lasting fruit. He does everything to help us be all that we can be, sending us even his only Son so that we may believe in him and have life. The Lord takes care of us as a dedicated landowner takes care of his vineyard. He invests much in us. Unfortunately, we disappoint him all too often.

Perhaps no longer taking place among us Christians are the injustices or indifferences towards the poor that the prophet Isaiah denounced. But we are still far from being perfect, holy or compassionate as our heavenly Father is. We find it difficult to put into practice the advice, “Have no anxiety at all.” We have no problem with the joyful, luminous and glorious mysteries, but what about the sorrowful?

We are still susceptible to hypocrisy and worldliness. Not without good reason did Pope Francis call the attention of the religious communities in Korea:   “The hypocrisy of those consecrated men and women who profess vows of poverty, yet live like the rich, wounds the souls of the faithful and harms the Church.  Think, too, of how dangerous a temptation it is to adopt a purely functional, worldly mentality which leads to placing our hope in human means alone ….”

The Pope also reminded the bishops of Korea of the temptation that arises in times of prosperity. Assured of our well-being and comfort, we easily forget that “the poor are at the heart of the Gospel”—also “present there from the beginning to the end”; we easily become “a rich Church for the rich, a middle-class Church for the well-to-do, so that “the poor even feel ashamed to be a part” of it.

No, it is not improbable that we too could be reprimanded by St. Paul for our participation in the Eucharist without discerning the body of Christ. And if we are reprehensible, then, it is not improbable either that applicable to us—because of our unfruitfulness or our arrogance in our leadership roles—is the warning: “I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.”

And thinking like Jesus, St. Vincent de Paul tells us, “We must fear, gentlemen, we must fear that God may take this harvest from us, for he gives his graces to others if we fail to use them as we ought” (Abelly [1664] II:277).

Lord, your generous love surpasses all our desires. Forgive our failings and guide our feet into the way of salvation.

Ross Reyes Dizon

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