Gospel Meditation

October 4, 2020
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Do you ever wonder why things never seem to come together? We see glimpses of consistency, equity, justice, peace, harmony, and wellbeing, but it always falls short. Human life is still expendable and manipulated, people are used for personal advancement, countries are at war, the economy continues to face turbulence, anger and frustration are widespread, and happiness is the possession of just a few and not the many. Could it be that we are serving the wrong kingdom? We keep trying to make our kingdom work and find ourselves still scratching our heads after repeatedly failed attempts to do so. It is almost as if people are saying, “we’ll get it right this time if we do … ,” as if some new and secret innovation has yet to be tried.

We serve God’s kingdom. We may not like hearing that, but it is true. God did not make only a few of us. God made all of humanity and all of humanity is called into service. How often do we defer any of our decision making to God? Secular leaders enjoy winking at the Sacred Scriptures and using them when they advance a cause, but are they really listened to? Even those who consider themselves believers tend to sift through God’s Word, taking what seems to fit and apply and discarding the rest. After all, if we were really serving God’s kingdom, we would see an abundance of fruit testifying to this fact. But what’s growing on the vine is anything other than good Gospel-centered fruit.

Nothing in this world or the next belongs to us. We have such a hard time believing this and live our lives as if everything belongs to us. And, the fruit does not lie. Trees that are neglected and not properly fertilized reveal that fact. They cannot keep these deep secrets from being discovered. If God’s kingdom was really being served, then life would have looked much differently after the crucifixion. By now, there would be plenty of fantastic fruit to harvest in abundance: faith, hope, love, prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude. Do we see these in abundance around us? Why not?

Still we grapple with ownership, privilege, status, and the protection of our rights. It’s all about us and what we want, think we need, and expect to acquire. When did this change of focus occur? We may be struggling with this since humanity’s day in the garden and have never understood that the focus cannot be on us and the apple but on God and God’s justice. Maybe the only answer is that the Kingdom be taken from us and given to someone who is willing to do a better job. Is that the fate we really want?



4 de octubre de 2020
27º Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

En toda la narración de la Biblia, la “viña” es un símbolo de la historia de Israel. El profeta Isaías, nos lo muestra con su cántico de la viña. “Déjenme cantar, en nombre de mi amigo, la acción de mi amigo por su viña. Una viña tenía mi amigo en una loma fértil. La cavó quitando las piedras y plantó cepas escogidas. En medio de ella construyó una torre y también cavó un lagar. Él esperaba que produjera uvas, pero solo le dio racimos amargos”. (Isaías 5:1-2). El cántico refleja el dilema del bien y del mal, de la fe y de la infidelidad. Esto aparece reflejado en la primera lectura y en el Evangelio. Somos la viña de Dios, tanto el pueblo de Israel de aquel entonces, como la comunidad mundial de la actualidad.

Dios siempre espera la conversión y la fidelidad del pueblo, por eso enviaba a los profetas para recordarles sus infidelidades. El dueño es Dios y de mil y una formas se hace presente para que la humanidad vuelva su vida hacia Él. ¿No es acaso lo que se nos ha pedido a razón del coronavirus? El Papa Francisco, insiste en que en medio de todo lo que vivimos sea el “vino nuevo la viña de la misericordia”. El Papa continúa. “La urgencia de responder con frutos de bien a la llamada del Señor, que nos llama a convertirnos en su viña, nos ayuda a comprender qué hay de nuevo y original en el cristianismo”.  (Radio Vaticano). ¿Qué nos pide Dios en este momento de reacomodo en el mundo a causa del sufrimiento de la pandemia? ¿Qué estoy dispuesto a dar para aliviar el sufrimiento de otros?