Gospel Meditation

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” The chief priests and elders listening to Jesus must have been furious. After telling the parable about the tenants who abused the owner’s property and killed his son, Jesus had a tough lesson to teach. He compared the Jewish leaders to these terrible tenants. They, like the selfish workers in the vineyard, were guilty of not respecting proper authority and of trying to seize control—not of grapes, in this case, but of religious matters. In short, they were not bearing fruit for God’s kingdom, but only for their own prestige and privilege.

Before we spend too much time criticizing them, however, we would do well to examine ourselves. If Jesus were standing in our midst right now, would he have a similar warning for us? We may not be religious leaders, but we are like those tenants in many ways because we have been made stewards of the gifts of God. We receive his help and grace through the sacraments, for example. Are we good stewards of this grace, or do we take it for granted and fail to nourish it to produce good fruit?

And what about the personal gifts that God has entrusted to each of us? We all have certain skills, talents, experiences, and opportunities thanks to God’s work in our lives. Do we make the most of these things or do we settle for the easy road? Do we thank God for them or consider them to be our own?

God has trusted us with a place in the world, his world. He is the ultimate authority here and all things we enjoy come from his hands. May we have the humility and gratitude to use his gifts for his glory and not just our own.