For over two thousands years the Fathers of the Church have been answering questions for the disciples in hopes of clarifying the mind of Jesus. The readings today are filled the ‘vineyard’ images. What is the ‘vineyard of the Lord?’ The psalmist tells us surely that the ‘vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel.’ What is the ‘house of Israel?’ Jesus defines the house as not what but rather whom. We are the house of Israel; our homes, our neighborhoods and our communities.
This is where we labor to bring about a good harvest for the Lord. The next logical question for true disciples is how do we ‘work’ in vineyard of the Lord?
The Church teaches us a way. The month of October is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Rosary. In his call to holiness, St. John Paul II stressed the importance of the Rosary as an instrument of prayer and meditation. This month too is set aside as Respect Life Month and so the two come together, a remembering of the Life of God through Mary and the remembering of human life as sacred in communion with God’s ever abiding love.
In the beginning, the rosary was prayed to provide victory for competing armies, but today, our approach has broadened to include not only soldiers of war but as a means to shed light against the spirit of deception with the Scriptures which tell us today: “Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9)
The rosary is the prayer of each member of the family, reflecting the spirit of Mary, uniting the image and the cross of her Son to the image and cross of each human person. The rosary is our own prayer, our own personal meditation on the mysteries of Christ’s life as well as a key to understanding to our own place in His Mystical Body.
If we do not continue to exercise our faith, we risk losing it. Jesus said through Matthew, “The Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.”
Re-discover the rosary in the life of your own family. Revive that sense of dignity and respect for all human life in its very conception and remember that even in death all human beings are sacred temples touched by the Hand of God.
Our Prayer After Communion is beautiful today, “May we be refreshed and nourished by the Sacrament which we have received, so as to be transformed into what we consume.”Pray, like Jesus did to the Father of reconciliation and mercy. Work to bring others home to this place, where they will find faith, hope and the courage to love in ways they never knew how.