A love story: God and the vineyard
Fr Fernando Torres, CMF
Only those who have spent their lives working on the land can understand the poignant feeling God expresses through this parable of the vineyard. For a farmer, the earth is part of life. It is almost an extension of one’s body. The laborers are almost like the arms of the owner.
To find the land neglected or not cared for, or to have laborers who deny the owner the fruits of the vineyard, the farmer might feel, practically, like a threat to one’s life, particularly when the laborers are the owner’s own beloved children.
God feels the same way. He has placed the vineyard (this world) in the hands of humanity (God’s beloved children). He is surprised to find out that the fruits are not harvested on time. The children are not able to get fruits from the vineyard that God so carefully planted. If God were a business executive, concerned only with the largest possible profit, God would simply close down the vineyard (this world).
But God is a Creator. God loves this world passionately. God created it and continues to maintain it day after day and year after year. God loves the world as the house, the home of God’s beloved children: men and women. Wars, violence, injustice, pollution: all these hurt the heart of God, who must be looking half in shock at how we destroy and spoil creation; how God’s children continue to die absurd deaths; how, the house that God dreamt for us, we are making a sort of jungle where only the strongest survive. Of course God also sees the many good things that we have done with what we received, but, as a good parent, God must be more concerned with the problems.
God might not take the vineyard away from us, but urges us on to produce fruits of life, justice, and love for all those who live on this earth. That would be God’s joy, gladness, and desire. In the meantime, God continues waiting for us and trusting in us.
- The vineyard is in our hands. What do we do to take care of it and improve it?
- How do we collaborate to give better and more abundant fruits?
- God has placed His trust in us, the laborers, even though we have often disappointed him. Do we also maintain our hope and trust in our brothers and sisters?