Just a word… Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time…

Just a word… Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time… October 4, 2020

Why is Jesus telling us this story of the owner of the vineyard and the irresponsi­ ble tenants? We are all capable of figuring out that the tenants were unjust, conniving and murderous. What does this have to do with us?

A deeper look reveals that God is the owner, so perhaps that makes us the tenants. The owner leaves thevineyard in the care of the tenants, apparently having given them all they need to care for it and produce the requisite fruit. Leaving the vineyard in the tenants’ care indicates that the owner trusts the tenants to do as they were asked. We know that they did not. If we accept the premise that we are the tenants, a few questions emerge for our consideration:

Do we deeply trust in the God who trusts in us to be faithful workers in the vineyard? Are we respectful of the generous hand of God in all things? In all we do?

Are we responsible stewards of the goods of God’s earth?

We have been given the earth, the vineyard,  and the tools to produce  the  best fruits for all people. The world is transformed by God, yes, but through us. How well are we doing?

One person who worked with God to transform the world was St. Francis of As­ sisi, whose feast day we celebrate today. St. Francis exhibited great care for all creation. His Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon refers to all creatures, great and small, to the water, the air, the wind and everything that grows, as being gifts from God for which he offers praise. St. Francis was dedicated to the pursuit of peace.

Our parish was staffed for many  years by spiritual descendants of St. Francis, and a garden was established  near the driveway to honor him. During the storm of August 4,  a tree fell, destroying the statue of St. Francis, along with the garden it occupied. In re­ cent years, since the tragic death of their son Adam at the age of 7, Melanie and Chelo Carvallo have cared for the garden in their son’s memory. They have now replaced the statue and the plantings, and we invite you all to visit the garden immediately after this Mass, socially  distanced, for a brief dedication of the  new statue and Adam’s garden.  It is particularly appropriate that we do so today on the feast of St. Francis.  In the honor­ ing of tradition and memory, we also lift up our Pope Francis’ care for creation and the encyclical he proclaimed yesterday in Assisi, reminding the people of the world that we are all brothers and sisters.

May the examples of St. Francis and Pope Francis inspire us to be trustworthy and faithful tenants of ourworld.

Posted in ,