The mention of vines and vineyards in this Sunday’s reading may bring a smile to the face of any wine connoisseurs who are listening. However, a close inspection reveals that we are not being taught about the benefits of drinking good wine.
Instead, there is a warning – a choice vine may well yield sour grapes.
Despite the blessings of human life and the beauty of creation, it is possible to spoil what has been so wonderfully and fearfully made:
‘What could I have done for my vineyard which I have not done?’ asks the owner of the vineyard.
Here we have an encouragement to honest self-examination, and also to assess our more general behaviour as a family, a parish, as the Holy Church, and as humanity in general.
The gifts of God are for the people of God – for our good. Come harvest time, and even beforehand, it is our response to the greatest gift of God – his only Son, the True Vine – which will determine the ripeness and sweetness of the fruits we yield, or otherwise.