02 October 2020
02 Oct 2020

We are the Lord’s Vineyard

by  Gonzalo Arnáiz Álvarez, scj

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If last Sunday we strongly affirmed man’s freedom and his possibility of choosing for God or against God, this Sunday we contemplate how it is possible to combine man’s freedom with God’s freedom in the fabric of history.

The Gospel (Matthew 21: 33-43) puts another parable in Jesus’ mouth in which he again uses the image of the vineyard, but this time he faces those responsible for the cultivation or care of this vineyard. Jesus narrates in the parable, the history of the prophets of Israel and their same story, moving forward because he sensed it, to his very own. The Son is going to be delivered and will die on the cross. Jesus, in this parable, shows a self-awareness that touches the depths of his being; Jesus recognizes that he is the last one sent by God and that His relationship with God is that of a son. This “claim” does not go unnoticed by his interlocutors who react by denying the evidence. And they deny it because accepting it means a radical change in their lives as caretakers of the vineyard that they administered at their own whim and benefit. Jesus warns them very seriously that they do not have a life patent and that God the Father will give the vineyard to other vinedressers who will take care of it as it should be, according to God the first vinedresser.

The Gospel or the word of Jesus is a warning to “Navigators”of all time. Throughout history, our history, we see how God continues to write straight, but the lines are crooked. Man’s free response to God’s collaborative call has almost always been stingy and mean. We have almost always wanted to make a cap out of a tunic and take history in a deadly direction. Yesterday and today. And perhaps today more than ever because man has many more possibilities than before to twist history, twisting even the “vineyard,” nature, the created world. We are capable of setting up an “anti-genesis” in a flash.


We all received Jesus’ warning and exhortation to change. May our freedom not be opposed to God’s freedom. The best thing we can do is to unite our freedom with God’s freedom, that we pull together in the same direction from the congeniality, the uniting of wills knowing that the paths that God marks out will always be the best for us, because they are born of his infinite love for us. For his vineyard, for his favorite creature, for his “spoiled” ones.

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