Is. 5:1-9, Ps 79, Philippians: 4.6-9, Mt 21:33-43
The theme and image of the Vineyard runs through all the Scripture readings for this Sunday. Anyone who works the land knows the hard work that is involved in caring, planting and harvestings crops.
In the Gospel of Matthew the owner of the vineyard was meticulous in his work on his piece of land – he planted, fenced around it, dug a winepress, built a tower and then he leased it to tenants so that they would care for it and harvest it.
Likewise in Isaiah, we read that the vintner loved his vineyard. His vineyard was on a fertile hillside. He dug the soil, cleared it of stones, planted choice vines, built a tower and dug a winepress.
One would say ideal conditions for growing vines in both cases! One would expect a good yield and no doubt a rich bottle of wine to share with friends. But what was the harvest? One produced sour grapes, the other lost his servants and worse still lost his son and heir.
As usual with the stories and parables in the Scriptures, we find that God’s ways are not ours! All our efforts, hard work and expectations do not always yield the result we want or demand.
St Paul gives us some clue in order to harvest a healthy crop. Imagine the Soul as a Vineyard! The choice of place, the care, the digging, planting, and harvesting is to do with “the peace of God which is so much greater that we can understand”. Paul encourages us to “fill your minds with everything that is true, everything that is noble good and pure”. We harvest this through prayer and a grateful heart.
Sister Helen Mary Harmey, OP