God Calls Us to be His Responsible Co-Workers
TWENTY-SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
We believe that education is still an important tool for evangelization. We invest significantly for education in many ways, from building structures, giving scholarships, organizing workshops and training, preparing learning materials, being involved in school management and so on. But, working in education sometimes also ends up in disappointment. Educating people is important, but the result does not always match our expectations. We have worked hard in education with love and dedication, but the response sometimes is far from our expectation: this can make us discouraged and despairing.
The first reading of XXVII (27th) Sunday (Is 5:1-7) describes how God felt discouraged with the people of Israel, his vineyard. It shows how much he cared for the growth of his vineyard, from digging, planting the seed, even building a watch tower. God had taken care of his people, protected and guided them. God provided all their needs. But all his efforts proved vain since the vineyard only produced sour grapes. His love just ended up in disappointment because they did not produce the fruit that pleased him. His expectation was unfulfilled, instead, it was disappointing. Prophet Isaiah warned the people of Israel about God’s judgment, approaching.
We can see a similar outcome in the Gospel (Mat 21:33-43). God entrusted his vineyard to Israel and now he entrusts it to the Church. The Church is called to work for his Kingdom, to take care of the vineyard. But, the attitude of the people of Israel can become also be the attitude of the Church, trying to be the owner of the vineyard. We don’t want the presence of Jesus who came to redeem us. We don’t allow God to work in our lives.
The parable in the Gospel reminds us that each one of us is his co-worker, not the owner. Through the parable, Jesus calls us to be his co-workers so that working for him we may produce abundant fruits. We are called to be responsible Christians. We are called to bear good fruits in our lives as a sign of our responsible attitudes, so that there will always be peace and prosperity. Though God was disappointed to see the attitude of tenants of his vineyard, he has provided a new vineyard which is the Church, he asks us to work with commitment in order to bear abundant fruit. God tirelessly guides us, his new tenants, that we may do our duty joyfully with spirit of love.
Yes, God may be disappointed. But as a good Educator, with his fatherly love he wants to draw us close to him. Despite our many limitations and shortcomings, he remains faithful and willing to fulfill his loving plan concerning our lives. Even his only Son is given to us that with him we may bear abundant fruit (John 15:1-10). God always takes care of the growth of his people, even if the response sometimes is far from expectation. He is always our Helper and the source of peace, as St Paul encouraged the Philippians who easily worried and anxious (second reading, Phil 4:6-9). The Church is called to work to fulfill the plan of God by cultivating his vineyard, welcoming the presence of Jesus and sharing his good news with our brothers and sisters.
Let us try to be responsible tenants, responsible God’s co-workers in his vineyard, the Church. Challenges are there, but with God our Helper, we must persevere in doing our best for the growth of his Kingdom.