We have just come from remembering the tragedy of the storm Ondoy when another powerful storm Pedring hit us. The winds were so strong that we witnessed waves as high as coconut trees hitting the sea walls of Manila Bay and thus causing the flooding of Roxas Boulevard. Until now, people in Bulacan and elsewhere in the north are suffering on account of floods and yet, they have to endure another storm Quiel. Let us pray for them and also come to their aid.
Such destruction caused by an act of God may truly be a reflection of what the Prophet Isaiah said: “Now I will let you know what I mean to do with my vineyard: take away its hedge, give it to grazing, break down its wall, let it be trampled! Yes, I will make it a ruin, it shall not be pruned or hoed, but overgrown with thorns and briers; I will command the clouds not to send rain upon it.” In the parable today, the Lord said, “He will put these wretched men to a wretched death…” Why such anger? Why such destruction? It is because in spite of what the Lord has done for his vineyard, he did not receive any fruit from it: He planted the vineyard, spaded it, cleared it of stones and planted the choicest vines. “What more is there to do for my vineyard that I had not done?”
We have been talking about vineyards for the past 3 Sundays. And everytime, we hear the command to go and work in it. Hired workers, sons, tenants – we all work in the Lord’s vineyard. And as in the first reading and the Gospel parable, the Lord seeks the fruits of his vineyard, he shall also ask from us the same. What fruits will we show him? Will we be able to show him “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious”? Will we offer him fruit that is excellent and worthy of praise? Or will we yield him wild grapes? Or will we yield him nothing at all?
Perhaps, the breaking of the sea walls should be a warning to us. After all, did not the Lord say: “I will break itsw walls”? In all the destruction of nature happening around us, we should see more than just climate change or global warming. We should see them as messages coming from God. After all, these are not called “acts of God’ for nothing! These acts of God should make us reflect about the fruits that we bear…Are they commensurate to all the graces we have received from God? “Think about these things” The Lord has chosen us and therefore he expects something from us. He has chosen us to bear fruit that will last. Let us return to the Lord and seek his mercy. Let us not reject the Son of God. The Lord refers to Himself as the Stone rejected by the builders which became the cornerstone. take away the capstone and the structure collapses. St. Paul speaks of Christ as the One who holds all things together in Himself. Delete Him from the picture and everything else collapses because no one will hold all these together. Therefore, let us not reject the Son of God. Let us not reject his servants. Let us return to what we have learned and received and heard and seen in Christ so that the God of peace will again be with us.