07 October 2017

TENANTS, NOT OWNERS

XXVII SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
isaiah 5:1-7; philippians 4:6-9; matthew 21:33-43

the angel gabriel returned from surveying the earth, and reported to GOD: «you own a choice piece of real estate called earth. but the tenants to whom you’ve leased it out are destroying it. they have polluted your rivers; fouled the air; degraded the soil; destroyed the rain-forests… in another few years, it won’t be fit to inhabit. by any rule of sound management, you have one option.» then raising his trumpet to his lips, gabriel asked: «shall i sound the eviction notice?»
GOD said: «no, gabriel! not yet. you are right, but i keep thinking if i give them a little more time, they’ll quit acting like they own the place!»


the readings of today 
- portray us as tenants of GOD’s vineyard, and remind us not to act like we own the place. 
- highlight GOD’s generosity and trust: he provided everything the people needed—fertile land, hedge, winepress, tower—to produce a good vintage. 
- tell us of GOD’s patience: he sends his servants several times to collect the produce, and finally sends his son. 
- remind us that GOD’s justice will prevail: the people yielded «wild grapes» (first reading); they refused to hand-over the produce, and treated the servants and the son violently. so he finally evicts the tenants: «the kingdom of GOD will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.»

we are tenants. GOD has given us a mission to accomplish. he has provided the means and the freedom to accomplish the mission in a most amazing «vineyard»! 
do i care for creation, or do i ruin it though my selfish and materialistic consumerism? what kind of fruit do i bear: «wild grapes» or grapes of good vintage? do i hand over the produce to GOD, or do i act like i own the vineyard?