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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflections for October 8
 

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

October 8, 2017 — Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 21:33-43
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

 People who live to the age of eighty will on the average spend three and a half years reading, five years talking, six years riding in a car, six years getting an education, seven years eating, eleven years watching TV and recreating, fourteen years working, and twenty-seven years sleeping. If they go to Mass every Sunday and spend five minutes daily in prayer, it adds up to six months!

God gives us so much, and asks for so little. But today’s Gospel shows that God does expect something in return for all he gives us. God is represented as the owner of a vineyard (Israel). He puts tenant farmers in charge of the vineyard, but the managers (Jewish leaders) refuse to pay what is owed. He sends servants (prophets) to remind the managers of their obligations, but the servants are badly mistreated. Then he sends his only son (Jesus). Incredibly, his son is murdered. Then comes judgment, and the managers are replaced by new ones (the apostles).

This parable shows what happened in Bible history. But it also has meaning for us. God gives us life, with wonderful opportunities to serve him. If we fail, he keeps loving us and calling us back. But if we reject God, and the power of Christ’s life, death, and Resurrection, there will be judgment.

So we should ask what return we give God for his blessings. Do we offer God a generous share of our time, talent, and treasure, finding joy in serving God’s people? Do we give him our very best at Mass, praying with attention and enthusiasm?

Some years ago I was speaking to a group of high school students and listed the number of years spent on activities by those who live to be eighty. After “twenty-seven years sleeping,” I asked, “If you go to Church every Sunday and spend five minutes every day in prayer, what will it add up to?” A boy answered, “Six months.” Amazed, I said, “Right. But how did you know that?” He replied, “That’s all that was left.”

Now that young man was paying attention! But let’s not give God only “what’s left.” God calls us to serve him in the vineyard of life. In return, let’s give God not just what’s left, but what’s first and best!

 
Read last week's reflection.