Meditation for the Day

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 4

God Calls Each of Us to Responsible Stewardship of the Gifts with Which He Has Blessed Us, So That We, in Turn, May Bear Fruit by the Witness We Give to the Faith Which We Openly Profess and Embrace.

We read in today’s Gospel, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes” – a passage which our Lord repeated from the 118th Psalm.

Of course, we know this “cornerstone” to be Jesus Christ, for He is the Son, the Heir, about whom we hear spoken in today’s parable!

When we begin to reflect upon the meaning of today’s Gospel Reading and how it relates to each of us in our own daily lives, and when we think about the tenants – the farmers – in the parable of the vineyard, we need to take time and reflect upon how we live the gift of faith which God has blessed each of us.

You and I are each called to be tenants, caretakers or stewards of this most wondrous gift which God has placed in our hearts – a gift which gives us hope, a gift which gives joy and meaning to our life here on this side of the eternal, a gift which calls us to be in a loving and intimate relationship with our Triune God – the Father who has created us, the Son who has redeemed us, and the Holy Spirit who continuously enlightens and sanctifies us.

For both you and I, this parable of the vineyard richly conveys some important truths about God and the way He deals with each of us –

It tells us of God’s generosity and trust! The vineyard is well equipped with everything the tenants need. The owner went away and left the vineyard in the hands of the tenants. Subsequently, we see that God gives to each of us freedom to run our lives as we choose. He gives to you and me the gift of free-will.

But, unfortunately, many who use their free-will, in ways which separate themselves from the will and mind of God, end up binding themselves as slaves to sin, a bondage which not only harms the soul, but also fractures that relationship which our Lord so earnestly wishes to have with each of us.

This brokenness is revealed in our First Reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, “What more could be done for my vineyard that I did not do? Why, when I waited for the crop of grapes, did it yield rotten grapes? …He waited for judgment, but see, bloodshed! for justice, but hark, the outcry!”

In this gift of free-will, in this gift of our spiritual and moral independence which we exercise in thought, word and deed, how many times do we witness God’s will being completely ignored and discarded?! How many times do we view the secularistic nature of today’s culture trampling upon God’s Commandments, all for the sake of self-centeredness and self-seeking gain?!

When we look upon the injustices against the will of God committed by relativistic thinking in our world today – abortion, same-sex marriages, unfair discrimination against minorities seeking a better life for themselves and their families, co-habitation, contraception and sterilization on demand, and this sad list goes on and on – it is no wonder we hear the words, “…He waited for judgment, but see, bloodshed! for justice, but hark, the outcry!”

And there is an outcry which reaches up to the very Throne of God! It is a cry from the genocide of tens of millions of innocents who have been and continue to be destroyed in the womb; it is a cry from all of God’s faithful children throughout the world who embrace His will in their lives, imploring that God’s Kingdom be brought to fulfillment here “on earth as it is in Heaven”!

But until that glorious day comes – and it most assuredly will! – our Lord calls each of us to be faithful “tenants” in His vineyard. He calls us to responsible stewardship of the gifts with which He has blessed us, so that we, in turn, may bear fruit by the witness we give to the faith which we openly profess and embrace.

For it is in such a witness where we find Saint Paul’s words in our Second Reading taking root –

“…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.”

And God’s peace will not only be with us, in will truly reside within us – for Christ will truly “become the cornerstone” in our lives, as we become those tenants who truly embrace the Eternal Landowner and all that He asks of us in our daily walk of faith!

For the prayer of today’s psalmist then becomes our own plea for justice and righteousness in this world in which we live, “Once again, O LORD of hosts, look down from heaven, and see; take care of this vine, and protect what your right hand has planted…”

May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you.

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “Jesus said to them, ‘Did you never read in the scriptures: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?’(Matthew 21:42; Psalm 118:22-24)
  • “Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD: ‘See, I am laying a stone in Zion, a stone that has been tested, A precious cornerstone as a sure foundation; he who puts his faith in it shall not be shaken.’(Isaiah 28:16)
  • “What more could be done for my vineyard that I did not do? Why, when I waited for the crop of grapes, did it yield rotten grapes? …He waited for judgment, but see, bloodshed! for justice, but hark, the outcry!” (Isaiah 5:4, 7cd)
  • “All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as an expiation, through faith, by his blood…” (Romans 3:23-25a)
  • “Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.” (Acts 3:19)
  • “I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
  • “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)
  • “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)
  • “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

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Prayer for the Day

“Lord Jesus Christ, Most Loving and Merciful Savior,
You are the sure and certain Foundation
and Source of life and strength for us, Your children.

“Please grant us the wisdom and grace
to live each day of our lives in accordance with Your Truth
and in conformity with Your Divine Will.

“Strengthen us so that we may reject every lie and falsehood
which we may find in the seductions of today’s world.
Grant us the grace to actively live Your Word daily,
and not just become a passive listener only.

“This we humbly ask out of love and faith in Your Most Holy Name,
You who live and reign with our Heavenly Father
in the unity with the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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