The image of the vineyard both in the first reading and the Gospel display how vital we are to God and how much effort God has invested in making us fruitful. But regrettably, humankind continues to fail to respond to God’s love.
In Matthew the parable says that the vineyard owner sends his servants to obtain his share of the fruits. The response of the tenants was so terrifying. The owner did not cave in, he still sends more servants, thereby implying, he has pardoned the tenants their terrible crime and misconduct. Sadly, the same thing happened. Then, he resolves to send his only loving son, thinking that certainly the tenants, will respect the son this time around. Yet there was no good news. We might begin to conjecture at this point, if the vineyard owner is totally naïve and senseless to have risked sending his son after the hitherto, shocking experiences of servants whom he had earlier sent. Jesus is saying therefore, that this is the way God relates to us in a forgiving and loving way. God is patient and just to us, not once, but uncountable times, He forgave the tenants their debts. But although the tenants may have taken advantage of the owner’s patience, his judgment and justice will triumph at the end.
Today, we are once again reminded that we are God’s chosen people. We are the tenants in the vineyard. God calls us to produce the fruits of the Kingdom of God that will last. As we reflect on the readings of today, let us call to mind, our own lives, our everyday deeds and actions. Are we like the evil tenants in our actions, that even when we are forgiven a lot, we still continue in our old style of living life to sin and insubordination to God?
God values faithful stewardship because stewardship is an exercise in responsibility. This implies that God puts a premium on our sense of responsibility. We are responsible for our life and for everything else that the Father has entrusted to us in this life. We must remember that to be responsible is to be accountable. The tenants in the gospel refused to be accountable to the vineyard owner. They sought to enjoy the bounty of the land without accountability and privileges without obligation
He has played His last card by sending His only son. Let us not miss this last chance. Our life is the vineyard! All we need to do is to stop and look around at the gifts we have been given, the gifts that surround us. We also need to remember that the gifts of life are on loan. God expects a good return from the vineyard, and God expects a life grounded in peace, love and forgiveness.