My beloved had a vineyard

(Isaiah 5.1)

He had a vineyard.
He took up labourers to work in it.
They agreed on the wages and started working immediately.
Later on in the day, the owner went again to the square,
saw some out of work and he took them in to toil in his vineyard.
He did the same thing at noon and at three.
He even went out at five in the evening and employed more workers.
When at night all came for their salary, he gave them all a denarius each.
The ones who started working early began complaining.
They felt that their employer was not fair.
They felt they deserved more.

How good we are at turning things upside down.
I am afraid we shall never understand a thing!

We were sitting,
bored stiff because we were not doing anything,
lazing about in the square…
and Jesus Christ passed by and took us in his vineyard.
He gave us a break
- a unique opportunity to work with Him in His vineyard.
He took pity on us.
The only one who cared enough
to pull us out our sloth and give our lives a meaning.
He even shelled out assets and gave them to us!
He gave us a denarius.
The denarius of victory over death.

But what do I do?
What do we do?
Instead of being grateful for what He did for us
we focus on what we think we are doing for him!
Instead of going down on our knees to thank him
for the simple reason that we do not even deserve to put our feet in his field,
we sit down to measure out things with him.

As if God is in any way obligated to us.
As if He is bound to give us anything!
As if it is not enough grace that he pulled us out of the plaza of futility!
As if the masses we go to,
the apostolate we carry out,
and the meetings we organize
are all favours we do to God!

We don’t realize that these are favours that God gives us
not for any merit of ours
but simply thanks to the great love He has for us.
We don’t deserve so much.
We don’t deserve anything.
Definitely not!

Let us stop being stupid!
We are like this patient who thinks he is doing his doctor a favour
if he takes the medication he has ordered for him!
Let us put things in the right perspective!
It was not us who preferred Jesus.
It was He who preferred and loved us.

The Christian is not the one who loves God.
The Christian is the one who realizes that God loves him.

When my God
comes to settle the accounts,
He gets mixed up.
He does not pay us
on the merits we think we have gained
but on His concern for us.

He will not give us what we deserve.
Just as well!
He will act on His heart.
It will be His feelings that will determine the salary!

Thanks be to God for that…
Because we know perfectly well what are His feelings for us.
He is just … crazy about us.
Yes, thanks be to God indeed.

Listen, mountains, to the case as Yahweh puts it,
Give ear, you foundations of the earth,
For Yahweh has a case against his people
And he will argue it with Israel.
“My people, what have I done to you,
how have I made you tired of me? Answer me!
For I brought you up from Egypt,
I ransomed you from the place of slave-labour
And sent Moses, Aaron
and Miriam to lead you.
My people, please remember
remember what you came across,
from Shittim to Gilgal
for you to know
Yahweh’s saving justice.

(Micah 6, 2-5)

(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.