Contributed by Philip Ezeogu
Today’s Inspirational Snippet: Reflection for 27th Sunday Ordinary Time October 8, 2017 Today’s Readings: Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80: 9, 12, 13-14, 15-16, 19-20; Philippians 4: 6-9; Matthew 21:33-43 Pope’s Intentions for October 2017: Workers and the Unemployed – That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good. October 2017: Month of the Most Holy Rosary Prayer of the Day: A Prayer to obtain Final Perseverance Saint Quote of Today: – “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in Heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.” – St. John Leonardi IN LOVE WITH THE MOST REJECTED PERSON Today, we heard the words of the Sacred Scriptures this Sunday, each and every one of us who gather together to give glory to God are reminded to lead a holy and good life, in accordance with what the Lord had taught us to do. The psalmist compares the nation of Israel to a vine transplanted from Egypt into the Promised Land. St. Paul sends greetings of peace to the people of Philippi as he prays that they will live lives which bear fruit from the Good seed which has been planted in them. Jesus, mindful of the Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament) passages concerning vineyards, shares a story with those who have come to hear Him. It is the constant teaching of the bible that God loves us tremendously and that His love is unconditional. His love cannot be merited nor earned. God gives us His love freely without conditions. In the first instance, in the parable of the Vineyard from Prophet Isaiah, we hear the aching words of God who was disappointed at the lack of response from Israel. In the second parable of the Wicked Tenants, we have the case of ingrates who returned evil for kindness. Of course, we too can easily identify ourselves with God. Often, people whom we have loved or nurtured forget us when they become successful in life. In the face of such ingratitude, what is the appropriate response? The instinctive reaction is to retaliate. An eye for an eye is the principle that many people live by. What, then, should our response be? We should take heed of the advice of St Paul. He asked us not to worry but to seek the peace of God. How can we maintain our peace? St Paul says that we must pray for it with prayer and thanksgiving. With the mind of Christ, we can now speak of a redemptive love. We will come to understand that revenge and retaliation is not the way to heal the situation. Furthermore, when we reflect on our own lives, we also recognize how often we have been ungrateful to others as well, especially to God who has loved and blessed us so much. In the final analysis, we must not take matters into our own hands. We must realize that if God wants us to respond to His love by living a good, holy, loving and righteous life, it is not for His sake but for ours. This is our challenge today. Will we become reactors when others are ungrateful to us in love; or will we be actors and respond to ingrates with compassion, forgiveness and patience? Because if we do, then perhaps with God’s grace, they will one day come to their senses. Brothers and Sisters, let us ask ourselves, do we want to be fruitful or barren vine? When the Lord comes, to claim all those who have been faithful to Him, thus bearing rich fruits, do we want to be counted among those whom He rejects because we have been found unworthy due to our rotten selves, through our sins and refusal to repent from our sinful ways? Let us all therefore, from now on, devote ourselves anew to God, and renew the commitment to live faithfully every single day of our lives, that we may grow ever more fruitful in our actions, based on our sincere and genuine faith in God. Today, let each one of us, examine area of our lives, that is hardest for us to accept the way God, has organized things.