Jesus embodies the trust to the extreme that God puts in us. And such trust lifts us up so that we become fruitful, trustworthy and ready to give God the fruit that is due him.
God must surely take us to be trustworthy. Or he would not lease us his vineyard. That is to say, he would not call us to work with him for justice.
But to work for justice demands that we embody it. For if we do not become the justice that we want to see in the world, we will not be believable. And this is what it means to say that we are the cherished vineyard of the Lord.
But the Lord, who does all that has to be done to care for the vineyard, expects it to yield grapes and not wild grapes. That is to say, no one should say of us: “He looked for judgment, but see, bloodshed! For justice, but hark, the outcry!”
Fruitful and trustworthy
We who now make up the house of Israel and the people of Judah are to bear, yes, fruit of justice. And we have to give the same fruit of justice to the one who has called us to work with him.
No, we cannot fail the one who trusts us out of his pure goodness. To let him down is to ruin ourselves (see also Gal 5, 15). And just as love calls for love in return, so trust, too, asks us to be trustworthy. But are we?
What would God say about us in the face of hunger, inequality, racism, selfishness and lack of concern these days? How many more prophets will the world spurn and kill? When shall we stop to twist the meaning of Dt 15, 11 (see Mt 26, 11; M. Donizetti; 17th Sunday in O.T.), “The needy will never be lacking in the land,” and not heed at all Dt 15, 4, “There should be no one of you in need?”
And how much longer must the Son of God suffer to the extreme due to greed? Furthermore, could someone not say to us, “The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will bear its fruit?” It is not wholly unlikely that Jesus may ask us, “What have you done to my Church?”
Lord Jesus, forgive us for we are not always trustworthy or fruitful. Nor do we seek what is true, honorable and just. But do not leave us behind, especially when you build a new house, a new people, that will have you as its cornerstone. Grant, too, that we do what you do for us at your Supper, so that justice may reign in the world.
4 October 2020
27th Sunday in O.T. (A)
Is 5, 1-7; Fil 4, 6-9; Mt 21, 33-43