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Gospel Reflection for 26th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A – October 1st 2017
We all know people who promise the earth! They say they will do something and never deliver. Others make a song and dance when asked to do something, but do it. It can be from helping in the home to co-operating on something big. In the end we are more pleased with the grumpy doer than the smiling non-doer.
Jesus means action when he speaks his message. While he is happy that people listen and pray and say good things, he is looking for men and women who put their hands where their hearts are, and put the gospel into action. We are people whose light is to shine before others, and not be hidden.
He has a shocking way of saying this – that some of the most looked down on people will find their way into the kingdom of heaven because they do the works of God – they love and care, they help and encourage. They are not just spiritual thinkers, but faith-filled doers of the word of God, even when their lives are not perfect.
Jesus comes back to this often: not those ‘who say Lord, Lord will go into the kingdom’, but those whose lives show the gospel of the kingdom.
Jesus speaks often of the vineyard; it is the place of God’s work. It needs planting, and nourishment and then the fruit is picked and becomes the wine of life; it also becomes his blood. When he speaks of someone working in his vineyard, he is speaking of building up the community of his disciples in what we say and do.
We can at times also enjoy the vineyard, sunning ourselves in it as the grapes sun themselves to ripen. Then we are asked to tend it, to care for it, and to bring forth fruit that will last.
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger
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