Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Call: Congregation for the Clergy on Working in the Vineyard of the Lord

By Congregation for the Clergy
October 3rd, 2011
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The vineyard doesn't belong to the tenants.  The fundamental experience of human life consists in its irreducible gift!  No one is the master of life because no one is the author of life!  Life is a gift and, with it, the cosmos in which we live was also given to us. This universal experience, that is so evidently obscured in today's dominant culture that has a restricted idea of reason, is the horizon on which we live and work.  Everyone works in the Lord's vineyard.

ROME, Italy (Catholic Online) - We present the reflections of the Congregation for the Clergy which is sent for all members of the Clergy of the Catholic Church throughout the world as they reflect on the Sunday readings for the Holy Mass:

Working in the Vineyard of the Lord

'The vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his cherished plant.' (Is 5:7)  With these words the Prophet, Isaiah gives us the horizon upon which to interpret Jesus' parable.  He is the Son who was sent to gather the fruit by the Master of the Vineyard.  Some aspects of the parable appear to be of particular importance, especially for the present time.

First of all, the vineyard doesn't belong to the tenants.  The fundamental experience of human life consists in its irreducible gift!  No one is the master of life because no one is the author of life!  Life is a gift and, with it, the cosmos in which we live was also given to us.

This universal experience, that is so evidently obscured in today's dominant culture that has a restricted idea of reason, is the horizon on which we live and work.  Everyone works in the Lord's vineyard. 

We are men and women that live and work in a context that was given to us, of which we are able to take possession, yet inevitably, someday, it will be taken from us.  This emphasis doesn't sadden our lives but rather makes them much more fascinating, filled with significance and responsibility, as we are not orphans but live totally in relation to God's great plans for us.

In order to constantly remind humanity of that reality, throughout history the Lord has chosen a people to be the light for all nations.  He has invited many prophets to bring that people, and also all humanity, back to a true relationship between man and the universe and between God and man.

The greatest gift that the 'Master of the Vineyard' could give to the tenants, to lead them back to their duty to 'produce fruit', was to send His Own Son.  At this point the liar dramatically enters the parable and is able to make man believe that, by eliminating the Son of God, the ultimate closeness to the Mystery, they can become 'masters' of themselves and reality.  There has never been a greater lie insinuated in a man's heart!

To eliminate God means to meet our own destruction, the loss of the centre and significance of our lives, to be dispossessed of the vineyard, no longer able to bear fruit.  The condition to continue to 'work in the Lord's vineyard,' to be participants in the works of the Kingdom, is that we must be able to bear fruit.  If, as single Christians we don't bear fruit and we don't humbly recognise that every fruit is derived from God's Grace, in which we freely cooperate, it automatically will exclude us from the vineyard.

Mysteriously, the rejection and murder of the Son dilated the boundaries of the Kingdom, making them universal, which is catholic, by construction and vocation.  In fact all men are called to the Church!

Thanks to this great plan, in which we are inserted without merit, we live the Apostles exhortation:  'Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.' (Phil 4:6)

The Blessed Virgin Mary, that mystical Vineyard in which the most beautiful fruit in history grew, sustains us in our life's journey and helps us to yield the fruit that God expects from us.

Citations of
Is 5,1-7:   www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9abst5e.htm   
Ph 4,6-9:   www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9adejfd.htm   
Mt 21,33-43:   www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9btbsfu.htm 

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)