If you have ever been in a vineyard, then you know the care that the workers take so that the vines will produce an abundance of grapes. If you have never been in a vineyard or seen a grape vine, then you may be unaware of the care that goes into the growing of the grapes.
The vines have to be trimmed at the right time in the right way or else they die, what is called going blind. They are re-utilized and watched over, making sure they are given enough water and whatever else is needed to help them produce the grapes at the right time. The grapes may be used for the making of wine, jelly and other products. When there is an abundance of grapes at the harvest, the owner of the vineyard and the workers are happy that all their efforts and work produced as many grapes as possible.
As careful and vigilant as the workers in the vineyard are, that is how careful Jesus is with us. He gives us the message of his Word, feeds us with the Eucharist, and leads us by the Spirit, hoping that we will understand the impact he has in our lives. Then, he sends us forth to care for others so that we become fellow workers in the vineyard of the world. Our mission is to help make the kingdom of God a reality for all the people we meet each day. Sometimes this requires a lot of time, energy and a willingness to enter into dialogue with others. Yes, it is time consuming, but if we are to be faithful to the call of the Lord, our only response is to say “yes” to him and to others.
Some of us may become weary, though, wondering if it is all worth the effort we make. When we see how others respond to us, then we know it is all worthwhile. Building the kingdom requires all our efforts because we have all accepted this responsibility by virtue of our baptism. Hopefully, as we have grown as adults, we have come to see the importance and seriousness of this responsibility. It also means that we have grown in grace and wisdom with our God, who has shown us the way to one another through Jesus, his Son. Imagine if the vineyard workers had not done their job and there was no wine to consume. How disappointed we would be. It works the same way if we fail to help bring God’s kingdom closer to those we meet each day!
Next Sunday, there is a 5k race in Springfield. The time is between 9:00 and 11:00am. While the runners will not pass the church, no cars will be allowed to access the church for Mass. The runners will pass Chisholm and proceed to Mountain Ave., on toward the high school. If you are planning to come to church for the 9:00 and 10:30 Masses, please make appropriate adjustments when driving. South Springfield Ave. will be closed between Mountain/Milltown and Meisel Avenues. This may cause some confusion, but please be attentive to the police as you make your way to the church.
~ FR. JOE