Isaiah 5:1-7 Ps. 80: 9, 12,13-14,15-16,19-20 Philippians 4:6-9 Matthew 21: 33-43
One year when we were living in Strykersville, we decided to plant a garden. We planted green beans, squash and strawberry plants and looked forward to a wonderful harvest. The plants were being wonderfully cared for and they grew well. And then one day, we saw deer eating the green bean plants! On another day, the mealy worms caused the lush green leaves of the squash plants literally to “squash.” Worst of all were the moles that ate the luscious ripe strawberries that had been covered with netting so that the birds would not get them! It is a reasonable expectation to want to see the fruits of one’s labors!
It is an expectation of our culture to believe that we have control over all things. Global warming is responsible for much of the natural havoc we experience in earthquakes and hurricanes. Hunger, war and racism are evils we can confront and eliminate by more generous and loving choices. The root of so much evil in our lives and in our world comes from our individual and collective choices to put ourselves at the center of the universe. Like our ancestors, to create false idols in our image and likeness. God’s response? “Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking ‘they will respect my son.’”
In the reading form Philippians, Paul encourages us to embody the fruits of the Spirit: “Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.” This is a reasonable expectation of the followers of the beloved Son that is fulfilled by our conscious awareness to accept God as the Lord of our lives. Each day united with Jesus Christ we can choose to love, to forgive, to do good rather than to do evil. God’s love will make this way of life fruitful if we “...have our eyes fixed on Jesus.” This is a reasonable expectation…but one of great price.
-Sr. Mary Laura Lesniak, ssmn
Sisters of St. Mary of Namur . 241 Lafayette Avenue . Buffalo, New York 14213 . (716) 884-8221