Today we hear in our churches the Parable of the Tenants in the Vineyard. The image of the vineyard is one of the most endeared backdrop in the lands of the Gospels and surrounding areas. According to the Old Testament prophets, Israel is referred to as the vineyard of God. In the New Testament, the Church is often referred to as the Lord’s vineyard. You see there is great joy and fulfillment in working in and belonging to the vineyard, for the Lord Himself is the owner and provider of all things. There is great satisfaction in watching its rich fruit growing, maturing and then being shared with others for the glory of God’s Holy Church.
It is imperative that we as Christians understand the wonderful privilege afforded to us to be able to work and belong to the Vineyard (Church), for only the Lord can bestow and give us this precious gift. But more importantantly this precious gift bears much responsibility and consequences.
You see God alone provides us all the basic resources of our life, like the air we breathe, the voice we possess and even our life itself, all gifts from our provider. You see we are the tenants, the stewards of God’ Vineyard (Church) on earth and as such we are expected to faithfully serve Him and most importantly are expected to share the harvest with God that He entrusted to us. A Christian is already set in a relationship with God and is proven a faithful or unfaithful steward or tenant according to our deeds. God is the Host of the Vineyard and we are His guests, so that we will use the many talents and resources which He has given us properly for the glory of His Vineyard (Church). So this parable illustrates what Jesus expects of us concerning our stewardship and work within the vineyard, hoping that we utilize the precious gifts given to us freely by our creator for the benefit of all mankind.
This coming week we also celebrate the great feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos and the beginning of the liturgical cycle. This Feastday commences the first of 12 great Feastdays, as 12 great banquets of the Kingdom of God nourishing and sustaining the faithful throughout the seasons of the year, culminating in the Feast of Feasts, above all others, the precious and Holy Pascha of Our Lord.
May God bless all of you as we endeavor to continue our work for the Church, the Vineyard of Our Lord.