BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu

I think it was Jim Reeves who sang: “This world is not my home I’m just a-passin’ through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door. And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.” This song summarizes our readings today and gives us something to ponder upon.

This world with all its beauty and glamour, all its side attractions and luxuries, all its sweetness and glory does not belong to me. No matter how wonderful my time is, one day, I must pack my things and go!

On the other hand, no matter how terrible my time here is, no matter the troubles I face, the headaches, pain-aches, confusion, anxieties and worries facing me, none of these things will last forever. This is why St. Paul advises us in our second reading today not to worry but in all things simply apply prayer, supplication and thanksgiving.

There are times I feel downcast, depressed and sad over the realities I have to face and put up with. But this second reading from St. Paul contains a powerful secret for achieving peace of mind; CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS.

I must select my thoughts and decide to deliberately think about things that are true, honourable, just, pure, lovely, gracious and worthy of praise. In that way, no matter what the world my throw at me, I come out victorious!

One thing the tenants in our Gospel passage did not realize was that the vineyard did not belong to them and there was absolutely nothing they could do to make it theirs. They killed the servants sent to fetch produce from the land and when they saw the son, they killed him also but none of these changed anything; they remained tenants!

Even if I buy the whole world and make every single human being on earth worship me, I am still a tenant. I cannot change this fact. Since I did not put myself in this world, there is someone who brought me here and when my time is over, I must go back to the person to pay my rent! I must render an account.

As a tenant, I cannot afford to do-as-I-like, my landlord is living right here with me; he sees everything I do everything with his “master cctv cameras,” he even sees my thoughts, he knows me more than myself. There are certain things he expects of me which are contained in the agreement I signed before packing into his property and what are those agreements? They are the Scriptures; the word of God.

As Isaiah’s parable depicts, there are certain things God expects of me because he has given me everything I need to meet up with those expectations. “What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done?” Right inside my heart, God put a device to remind me each moment of his expectations, to warn me when I go off track and advise me how best to be holy; that device is called CONSCIENCE.

God created me and endowed me with talents, opportunities and countless gifts. These talents are like the field with choice grapes already planted, I have everything I need within me to produce the sweetest wine possible. What is this wine? To know God, to serve God, to love God and to be happy with God in this life and forever in the next.

The wine that God expects of me is to make the world better than I met it; to bring joy to others and to bring joy to God by a virtuous life; to serve God with all my heart, with all my mind and with all my strength.

Dear friends, three things I should never forget: one, this world is not my own; secondly, the owner of this world has placed certain expectations on me and thirdly, it is either I meet up with those expectations or be prepared to hand over to others who are capable of meeting up with these expectations.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, when my time here is over, may I bring a pleasing report before you. Amen.

Happy Sunday. Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year A. Bible Study: Isaiah 5:1-7, Philippians 4:6-9 and Matthew 21:33-43).

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