The Song of the Vineyard
“My friend had a vineyard on a fertile hillside; he spaded it, cleared it of stones, and planted the choicest vines; within it he built a watchtower, and hewed out a wine press. Then he looked for the crop of grapes, but what it yielded was wild grapes. Now inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard: what more was there to do for my vineyard that I had not done? Why, when I look for the crop of grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes?” (Isaiah 5:1-4).
Beloved people of God, the Lord has done great things for us. He gave us all that we need for us to produce sweet and abundant fruits. God gave everything for us; He died on the Cross for us, for our sins, and for our salvation. He gave us the grace, life, wisdom, understanding, and nourishment we need with his Body and Blood. He also gave us the love we need to produce justice and peace. Let us think that the Lord will come today to look for the crops of grapes, what would he find? I am afraid to answer that question. I know that my own sinfulness contributed to some of the sourness of the fruits and that my acts were not enough to make them sweet. I am not authentic enough to produce real grapes because I just pretend to be good at certain times. It is fundamental to recognize our innermost desire of holiness, and why do we possess this desire? We possess it because it was given to all of us. In some people, it is alive and is continuously inviting them to conversion and discernment. In others, this desire for holiness is frozen in the coldness of their hearts because of the pain, hurt, wounds, and memories they have from past injustices done to them. It is a chain of pain that needs to be broken.
As members of the Mystical Body of Christ, we cannot say “this is not my problem” when somebody is acting wrong, unjust, or in an evil way. The truth is that our bad actions affect everyone; in contrast, our good actions help everyone as well as initiate a restoration process that has the power to break the chains that families carry for many generations.
What I am trying to say is that we all have what it takes to be good, loving, forgiving, and holy; all we have to do is help each other. The first step to change the people around us is to realize that we need to change ourselves first. Then, great wisdom will be awakened, and graces will begin to flow like a river to nourish the vines. These graces will also begin to have an effect on others; it will unfreeze their hearts and suddenly, a desire for doing good will appear. All sons and daughters of God were created good, with the capacity to produce sweet and wonderful fruits. However, some of them don’t know this because all they have experienced is the voice of the enemy lying to them. They were deceived and it is our call, our vocation, to bring them the Truth that is Jesus Christ, to remind them how good and wonderful they are in the eyes of God. If our society is not producing good fruits but instead is producing sour and inauthentic fruits, we must stop and reflect. Reflect the fact that I, as a Christian, as a Catholic, and a disciple of Christ am not doing enough.