Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent

Reflection based on Matthew 21: 28-32

Become Who You Are

Being the Father's eternal Son, Jesus thinks in terms of relationships. So, while today's reading depicts the interior moment of conscience and conversion to which all can relate, we need to focus on the father in the parable. His sons are not servants, but his heirs. The vineyard in which he commands them to work is their inheritance, so the command is really a directive to exercise stewardship over what is theirs. Even more, the vineyard symbolizes God's chosen people. God cultivated this vineyard with greatest care, that it would produce abundant fruit. So we see that God desires that we work with him in producing the grapes of the new wine of the new covenant. He thinks of us as friends and associates, not servants.

Thus, this father's command reflects God's own commandments , which can be summarized as: Become who you are! Cooperate with me to build yourself up! His commandments echo in our consciences and call to our freedom and love. What is at stake is the Lord's vineyard, becoming his people, taking full possession of the inheritance of God's love, of the relationship he desires to have with us.

To heed the voice of conscience is not just an act of obedience to authority. It is a profound and personal yes to be responsible for the gift of God's love.

Douglas G. Bushman

Most gracious and loving Father, I thank you for calling me to work in your vineyard. Grant me the grace to know and to love your commandments, and to live them this and every day.


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