Monday, June 4, 2012

How is my fruit?

The “song of the vineyard.”  Jesus makes use of one of the most beautiful allegories of the Old Testament in which  Isaiah prophesied Israel's ingratitude for God's favors. (Is 5:1-7) Jesus chose this allegory on which to base the story he tells in today’s Gospel. (Mark 12:1-12) It is the parable of the owner  who rents out his vineyard to tenant farmers. When the owner sends his servant to collect some of the fruit from the vineyard the tenants kill him.  They do the same to other servants who come to collect until he finally sends his son.  Because the son will be the heir to his father’s fortune, they kill him too, hoping to get the fortune.  ( Jesus was referring in veiled language to the prophets who had come to Israel through the ages and were killed because Israel didn't want to listen to what they had to say. )    God the Father sent his only Son – Jesus –  "into the vineyard"  and as Jesus told the parable he knew they would  soon kill him too.

 Perhaps this is a little far-fetched but when I was meditating on this parable this morning I saw myself as one of the tenants! In the Gospel, the owner provided everything for the tenants; he had set up the vineyard, he planted it, set a hedge around it and dug a pit for the wine press.  He built a tower and then rented it to the tenants.
God has set me up in his vineyard.  He has given me all I need to cultivate and harvest spiritual fruit.  I have the grace which flows from my baptism, the Sacraments, Scripture, the teachings and care of the Church.  How is my fruit?   Do I work diligently to bear much fruit?  Am I stingy or do I give everything I have to him?  Those are the questions I asked myself this morning. 

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