The images used by the prophet Isaiah and by the Lord in today’s Gospel, provide us with an abundance for reflection. The prophet compares the people of Israel to a vineyard planted by the Lord which does not produce the proper fruit. Christ also gives a parable of a vineyard. In this parable, however, the hearers are compared to violent and avaricious tenants, who rather than give the fruits of the harvest to the emissaries of the owner, choose to murder the emissaries and even the owner’s son.
The Word of the Lord today makes us ask ourselves, are we producing good fruit? If we compare the work of the Lord’s grace in our lives to the image of Isaiah’s vineyard, we see how tirelessly He labors for us so that we might bring forth fruit. “My friend had a vineyard on a fertile hillside; he spaded it, cleared it of stones, and planted the choicest vines; within it he built a watchtower, and hewed out a wine press.” (Is 5:1-2) Let the question of the Lord resound in your heart as you think about the blessings you have enjoyed. “What more could be done for my vineyard that I did not do?” (Is 5:4)
This week we desire to produce fruit worthy of the Kingdom as the Lord exhorts us. What does that fruit look like? We will spend each day reflecting on how we may make a proper return to the Lord for what He has done for us. Perhaps, though, in summary we may consider the counsel of St. Paul to the Philippians. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, 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 4:8) May the Lord in His mercy grant us to put into action the good and worthy, just, pure and lovely fruit he gives us to meditate upon this week.