The Vineyard is our pre-occupation for yet another Sunday’s Gospel. The vineyard as we have learnt is the House of Israel.

God the Father owns the vineyard and he leases it out to the religious and political leaders of Israel. [1]He is not pleased with the result. For the servants who are sent to collect the grapes, we are told, are thrashed, killed, or stoned.[2] When it comes to the heir, they say “Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance.[3]

The heir is of course Christ, the Beloved Son of the Father. And Jesus in turn is thrashed, and undergoes His Passion and death for each one of us so that we can be part of His Body, the Church. Each of us has been called through our Baptism to be a member of the Church. The Catechism explains that:

"The Church is a cultivated field, the tillage of God. On that land the ancient olive tree grows whose holy roots were the prophets and in which the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles has been brought about and will be brought about again. That land, like a choice vineyard, has been planted by the heavenly cultivator. Yet the true vine is Christ who gives life and fruitfulness to the branches, that is, to us, who through the Church remain in Christ, without whom we can do nothing.[4]

We are called to bear fruit, fruit that will last. We are told firstly, that “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty[5] and secondly, “It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit, and you will be my disciples.”[6]

Fruit can easily be hard, tasteless and bruised. Each fruit that we are asked to bear is made soft, good to the taste. Jesus tells us that he is the true vine and that “My Father is the vinedresser.[7] This means that the Father takes an interest in each of us personally, each of His branches that bear fruit. So, each us can have complete trust that we will be given all the fertilizer, so-to-speak, i.e. grace, to bear good, sound fruit.

So, go out into the world and “bear much fruit, fruit that will last.[8]

 

 


[1] http://www.miamiarch.org/atimo_s/news/CCS_E_081005.pdf

[2] Matt. 21:36

[3] Matt. 21:38-39

[4] Catechism of the Catholic Church #755

[5] Jn. 15:5

[6] Jn.15:8

[7] Jn. 15:1

[8] Jn.15:16


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