Sunday October 4th, 2020 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin
On this Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, we are invited to gratefully reflect on the many gifts and blessings we have received from our Heavenly Father. Yet, in living in this misguided world, it is all too easy to take our gifts and blessings for granted. Our readings this Sunday teach us that we must live with an intentional awareness of our many blessings and use them gratefully to glorify God.
In our Gospel passage from Matthew, Jesus used the image of a vineyard to teach the importance of using our gifts and blessings well. He told the story of a landowner who planted a vineyard and leased it to tenants before he went on a journey. Instead of tending the vineyard, the tenants mistreated the servants in the vineyard and even the son of the landowner, whom they had killed. When the landowner realized what the tenants had done, he put them to death and leased his vineyard to tenants who “would give him the produce at the proper times.”
By Baptism, we have received the gift of salvation and membership in Kingdom of God — we are now “tenants” called to work in the Lord’s “vineyard” and produce fruit for its owner, our Heavenly Father. Jesus made it clear that if we squandered the gift of salvation, we would lose it. It is a sobering truth.
This Sunday is the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), who placed his gifts and blessings at God’s disposal. He saw all of life and the created world as a reflection of the Almighty’s beauty. He was sometimes referred to as the Second Jesus Christ because of his humility and joy. So, let us use our intellect to think of the gifts and blessings we received throughout this day and resolve to use them all for the greater glory of God