REFLECTION FOR TODAY
March 5, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“Therefore, I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” Matt. 21:42
Our gospel reference of today form part of the parable Jesus told the chief priests and elders about a vineyard owner whose rebellious tenants kill his servants and even his son and heir. The parable is an allegory of salvation. god the Father, the creator of all things is rightful owner of creation. he placed his people (the tenants) in the vineyard to prepare a fruitful harvest.
When the time of salvation was approaching, he sent His prophets out of love, but the tenants shamefully and violently abused them. But God never gave up, He sent his only son out of love and compassion, whom the put to death out of greed, envy and jealousy. What does these tenants deserve?
Which of these group do you belong? Those from whom the Kingdom of God will be taken away? Or those to whom it will be given so as to produce good fruit? Those who will have the Kingdom of God taken away from them, are represented in this parable by the tenants of the vineyard.
It is clear that one of their sins are greed, envy and jealousy. They are selfish. They see the vineyard as a place through which they can enrich themselves and care little about the good of others. Sadly, this mind-frame is easy to adopt in our own lives. It is easy to see life as a series of opportunities for us to “get ahead.” It is easy to approach life in a way that we are constantly looking out for ourselves rather than sincerely seeking the good of others.
Those to whom the Kingdom of God will be given so that it will produce good fruit, are those who understand that the central purpose of life is not to simply enrich themselves but to share the love of God with others. These are the people who are constantly looking for ways that they can be a true blessing to others. It is the difference between selfishness and generosity.
But the generosity to which we are primarily called is to build up the Kingdom of God. This is done through works of charity, but it must be a charity that is motivated by the Gospel and has the Gospel as its ultimate end. Caring for the needy, teaching, serving and the like are all good only when Christ is the motivation and end goal.
Our lives must make Jesus more known and loved, more understood and followed. In fact, even if we were to feed a multitude of people in poverty, care for those who were sick, or visit those who were lonely, but did it for reasons other than to ultimately share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then our work would not produce the good fruit of building up the Kingdom of Heaven. In that case, we would only be philanthropists rather than missionaries of the love of God.
Reflect, today, upon the mission given to you by our Lord to produce an abundance of good fruit for the upbuilding of His Kingdom. Know that this can only be accomplished by prayerfully seeking out the way God is inspiring you to act. Seek to serve His will alone so that all you do will be for God’s glory and the salvation of souls.
Glorious King, I pray that Your Kingdom will grow and that many souls will come to know You as their Lord and God. Use me, dear Lord, for the upbuilding of that Kingdom and help all my actions in life to bear abundant and good fruit. Jesus, I trust in You.