27th Sunday in Ordinary time
Isaiah 5: 1-7
These readings today point out some important and positive directions for us being faith followers. It is important to recognise that the centre has never changed despite our human efforts. We falter due to our humanity and at times we are ruthless on ourselves and others due to not seeing let alone believing that the kernel of the message, is that God loves us.
As in this parable of the Vineyard and not treating the servants with respect of giving dignity – God provides the environment and we like Israel in the first reading are to provide the fruit or produce. So, that means a recognition of God as central to all we are and do. The real fruit comes from following Jesus where all qualities point not to oneself but God. All our efforts, combined with our gifts and talents, are ‘gifts’ and we use this for being good, for others and ourselves – we are keepers of ‘the light’, and that light is coming from our prayerfulness, our thanksgiving, in our bringing peace, justice, compassion and forgiveness to others. The opportunity to hear and receive God’s word and/or invitation will be given to others if we do not wish to follow with respect, and openness to the God of love.
Jesus, provides the example of being grateful, being compassionate, being forgiving and being understanding of others plight. We need to cooperate with these values and gifts to bring the kingdom to fruition – we cooperate, with God’s grace and peace, to make things right and to bring others, into the community of believers.
If we fail to recognise the God of love in our midst then others will be given opportunities as the gospel reminds us. Others will gain, because of our lack of attention to the producing of fruit – fruit that will last – healthy relationships, a focus on the other and the acceptance that all comes from our compassionate, loving God who only desires to bring us home. That home is built on peace within and peace with others – trawling the road with an attitude of picking up others, forgiving others, being thankful for what we have and who we are. So, harvest and produce the fruit, share it, so others see the generous and loving heart of God.
God is, ‘aroha’ – love!
Paul Traynor is married to Clare and has two children Sam and Lucy. He lives in Greytown which is in the Wairarapa Region on the North Island of New Zealand. Paul is currently working as the National Passionist Family Groups Coordinator for Aotearoa, New Zealand.