Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Vineyard

The vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the House of Israel, and the people of Judah the plant he cherished. Isaiah 5

Both today's Gospel and the Old Testament Reading from the Prophet Isaiah highlight the consequences of infidelity to our covenant relationship with God, illustrated by means of the image of the vine. But while the consequences may be dire, it is important to remember that the image of the vine is, in itself, a powerful symbol of the privileged relationship we enjoy with God and of the great dignity he has bestowed upon us.

John makes this very clear in the fifteenth chapter of his Gospel. Here Jesus himself says, "I am the vine, you are the branches. Anyone who remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty." By virtue of our incorporation into Christ by baptism, we are united to him in a very real way- as real as that between a vine and its branches. 

The Christian vocation is essentially this: to grow with the whole vine and bear fruit. We do not know how we will be called to grow and adapt; we cannot predict the direction growth will take. All we have is the law of love and the exhortation to perseverance. We must welcome growth and change, all the while remaining firmly attached to the Source of life.

Excerpts from this morning's homily by Father William.