October 25, 2014
Love God First, or God Loves First
The order with which this Gospel passage is arranged for the Sunday Gospel might provide us one possible interpretation and lesson.
It is God who has given us all (last Sunday’s reminder of “giving to God what belongs to God.”). Thus, even our ability to love comes from God.
Consequently, when I love God, I just try to respond to the One who has loved me first, and without whom I would not even exist.
Then, I am called to love my neighbor, who like me, comes from God. And like me, he belongs to God. Moreover, I am called to see the neighbor as the gift of God’s love for me.
In loving my neighbor, I again respond to God’s love with love.
October 10, 2014
God Gets in My Way
There are times when we allow our things get in God’s way. The list includes our own plans and desires, sins, pride, things that we don’t want to let go, our lack of trust, etc.
However, can there be times when God gets in our way?
That might be one way of looking at the reaction of the first group of guests in this parable.
Jesus identifies them as “the invited guests” who are now “summoned” to the feast when “everything is ready.”
The description “invited guests” suggests that they have received an earlier invitation prior to this moment. They knew about it.
But they already have their plans.
And now, God’s plan for them gets in their way. We know how they react.
Have I ever allowed such a situation to happen in my life?
October 4, 2014
Matthew 21: 33 – 43
The Vineyard Entrusted to Me
The landowner first “planted a vineyard.” Next, he “put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.” In other words, he took good care of his vineyard. Only then did “he [lease] it to tenants.”
(Today’s first reading from Isaiah 5 has even a more detailed description of God’s care for the vineyard).
With such great care, God prepares the vineyard that would be entrusted to me.
The vineyard can be (or includes) my own wellbeing, both in this world and in the next, and the people God puts in my life – family members, friends, co-workers, …
Besides, God sends help and reminders (the servants and His Son) to assist me in caring for the vineyard.
How do I take care of the well-planted vineyard that God has entrusted to me?