Scripture Reflection . . .
Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Isaiah 5:1-7
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 80 “The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel.”
Second Reading: Philippians 4:6-9
Gospel: Matthew 21:33-43
Have you ever seen a vineyard? Rows of sturdy roots elegantly drapping leaf covered vines to each side. In season large clusters of grapes hang down from branches catching dew drops and sun rays. It is a picture of serenity, peace and abundance. I am reminded of Jesus’ description of the vine and branches in St. John’s Gospel (John 15).
Today’s Gospel and First Reading depict horrific images of vineyards left to destruction by violence, greed, jealousy, injustice. The branches are separated from the vine – there is no fruit of peace and love.
Inserted between these two Readings is St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians calling us to keep connected to God: “by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God . . . Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.” St. Paul knows through his own experiences that by keeping our eyes fixed on God we will be filled with peace. When we cling to the vine peace will be the fruit no matter what we are going through. It is when we let go of the Vine, forget the Vine, try to produce fruit apart from the Vine that fear, anger, resentment, all the opposites of love and peace, begin to take hold.
We have only to look at the tragedy in Las Vegas to see what happens to the vineyard when one branch separates or forgets that it was made to be connected, when it forgets that it is loved and created to bear beautiful fruit.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” (John 15:9).
In Our Lives as Sisters of the Redeemer. . .
Moments we were very much aware of our connectedness with each other and the world:
During Mass for the victims of Las Vegas and their families and loved ones Tuesday evening.
Welcoming back our Sister from Florida where she represented the Congregation as Redeemer Associates renewed their commitment to prayer and service.
In the visit of three former Redeemer Ministry Corps volunteers. After 8 years we still are a part of each other’s lives.
As we gathered to send off one of our Sisters who travels to our Sisters in Tanzania, East Africa. Our connection as an International congregation grows deeper.
In Your Life . . .
You may wish to read John 15:1-17. As you read and pray with Jesus’ words hear the connection God longs to have with you – and all people. Hear God’s desire for all people to be connected- to love one another. Hear God’s longing for peace. Remain in this awareness for a time.
Blessings on your week!