Dear brothers and sisters, today in the Gospel reading we heard a parable about a certain master of a house who planted a vineyard and gave it to the vinedressers and went away. When the time came to gather fruit, he sent his servants to the vinedressers. But they seized them, beat one, killed another, and stoned another. After this, he sent his son to them, saying, ” they will be ashamed of my son.” But when the husbandmen saw the son, they seized him, led him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
According to the interpretations, the vineyard here means the Israelites, chosen by God, who were the guardians of the Law of God. “As an ordinary master sends his servants at a certain time to take fruit from the vinedressers, so God sent his servants, his chosen ones (the prophets) to the people of Israel: to seek spiritual fruit from all that He gave to this people to cultivate, that is, the virtues that flow from obedience to the Law of God.”
And, as the parable shows, “when the servants of God were mocked, and all the admonitions of God were rejected, the merciful God sent His only begotten Son.” And as the wicked vinedressers did to the son of the owner of the vineyard, so the Israelites did to the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to save them.
As the Holy fathers teach, we can learn from each Gospel reading a lesson that applies to the life of an individual. So in this parable, the house in which the vineyard was planted means each of us – each person. The Lord said: “The Kingdom of God is within you” (LK. 17: 21), therefore every Christian is called to become the abode of the Most Holy Trinity, to bring forth the fruit entrusted for cultivation.
Thus, each of us in the Sacrament of Baptism receives a special gift, a special treasure, a special divine power, which each person can dispose of in different ways. Based on the life that a person leads, this divine power can forever remain in him unmanifested, idle, stifled, suppressed, hidden. And, on the contrary, if a person in his life zealously, constantly strives for God, then this divine grace increases, ignites in him, penetrates his entire soul, making it bright, godlike.
God speaks: “Lo, I stand at the door, and knock: and if any man hears My voice, and open the door, I will come in unto him, and sup with him, and he with Me” (AP. 3: 20). God is constantly speaking to us. The Holy fathers say that when one simple good thought comes to us, one simple good thought, for example, about changing ourselves, about the need for a better spiritual life, this thought is God’s turning to us.
And how is this good thought received by us? It happens that from time to time she good-naturedly accepted by us, then only angrily forward, albeit without the pain, but cold, without much attention, and then, in the cycle of our concerns is already becoming tiresome, we hasten from it as soon as possible to get rid of, and finally, begin to feel unpleasantness and aversion from it; it does not just love her, and hated, pursued, persecuted, don’t notice it. A good thought that has visited us appears as an alien guest among our other interests and habits.
That is why the desire for self-change and a better spiritual life passes away.
And, as the Holy gospel tells us, “evil vinedressers ” (our passions, sinful habits) prevent the good that the Lord sends us: good thoughts about our correction, about the necessity of living in God, and we continue to live according to our habits, passions.
A good thought comes – but how much attention we ourselves must give to it in order for it to prevail over the soul! How important it is to notice this good thought and give it a place in our minds. For the most part, such good thoughts remain fruitless because of the inattentive and improper attitude of those whose souls they visit. Therefore, the Holy fathers say, it is necessary to carry this thought further into the depths of the soul and show its importance and attractiveness and do everything to fulfill it. They realized that there is no life but life in the Lord, and they changed their short-lived life.
How does the Lord come to each of us?
We all have the promise of God: If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word: and My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our abode with him (John 14: 23). The life of each person is arranged by God, and the whole course of it is also a matter Of his all-merciful Providence. Hence, every moment and every meeting. We only need to do everything according to the commandments of the Lord: everything that each of us presents according to the circumstances of his life, that every case that each of us meets requires.
The Lord comes to each of us in the daily fulfillment of His commandments. And if we strive for such a life in God, then we must arrange our life in such a way that every step we take, every action we take, both internal and external, is the fulfillment of God’s will, a conscious, determined and unquestioning fulfillment.
This is the distinctive feature of true submission to the will of God, so that, having come to know it, we can do it resolutely and without question, applying our resolve “to the position of the belly”, that is, even if we die, and not retreat from the conscious will of God. And if we hesitate to doubt the consequences, we will certainly go astray and err.
Suppose, for example, we have offended; the will of God is known: I’m sorry – well, sorry without thinking, and let us reflect, what will come of this, and will bacteremia: go thinking that all will consider us weak-willed people unconscious self-esteem; today, hurt one, tomorrow another will hurt, and there third is just not among the living will; come, and say: no, you cannot forgive, you have to stand up for themselves, and begin to stand, and will begin in the soul – and why? Because the will of God is violated, the commandment is despised, and sin is committed.
And, as the gospel says,” evil vinedressers ” (our passions, sinful habits) prevent the fulfillment of God’s commandments and the performance of good deeds.
If we say at once: I forgive, so God has ordered – and all hesitation is over. After all, there is only one Householder in the whole world – the Lord. He sees everything, and the faithful, diligent doer Of his will never be forgotten by Him.
And so, in any case, and at every meeting, we must do what God wants us to do. And what He wants, we know from His commandments. A neighbor comes to us – it is God who has brought him. What do we need to do? God, who has brought our neighbor to us, of course, with the desire that we should act in God’s way toward him, as he pleases, looks at us to see how we will actually act. Who is looking for help? Help. Have we offended anyone? Hurry up to ask for forgiveness and make peace. Praised by who? Not proud. Scolded? Not angry. Is it time to pray? Pray. Work – work, and so on, and so on, and so on …
All this having been discussed, say the Holy fathers, you will set about acting in such a way in all cases that your deeds will please God, and will be performed steadily according to the commandments. In this case, we say ourselves every time in your heart: I know that here it is the will of God and do it of course, and then what will to talk about how none of my business. The Lord, who gave the commandment, sees everything and foresees what follows. And such submission to the will of the Lord is evidence of living communion with God.
So, brothers and sisters, let us be attentive to our lives and keep the commandments of God, cultivating the fruit entrusted to us in the vineyard of our soul. Amen to that