image from the internet


A woman, secretly selling illegal drugs, was getting more hooked into this affair.


When her own sister discovered it, she reprimanded the woman and warned her of the heartache it will cause their elderly parents.


In retort, the married woman said that parents will always understand and accept their children no matter how bad they turn out to be.


What’s right about this reasoning? Well, good parents do try their best, no matter how difficult, to understand even their children’s wrong choices.


And what’s wrong about this reasoning? The woman disregards her parents and others around. Everybody else must make room for her. She just wants them to understand her; what about understanding the others, too?


The first reading (Isaiah 5) uses the imagery of a vineyard, a farmland, to express the hardness of heart of God’s people.


The landowner tilled his land with diligent care, working on it with relentless effort and planting on it the best grapes.


But the grapes the land yielded was of inferior quality, causing dismay and anger in the heart of the landowner. In the end, the land had to be laid to waste for its unproductivity.


This prophetic “song of the vineyard” describes the exact nature of unfaithfulness. It is not so much the action of betrayal. It is the callousness of the heart to feel no remorse for the pain caused to other people, especially the people who truly care.


The story used the image of an infertile land, an inanimate object. If a lifeless object can cause such injury, how much more can a human being wreak havoc by being so selfish and inconsiderate of others in one’s attitude and behavior.


When we act unfaithfully, whether in a small or in a big way, we disregard the goodness we have received, we ignore the kindness shown to us, and we exchange our selfish tendencies for the selfless love that we have been offered.


Both the reading from Isaiah and today’s Gospel (Mt 21) show that God’s reaction to his unfaithful people is not mere dismay but explosive anger, a righteous anger given the magnitude of the sins committed.


As long as we live in this world, we cannot avoid not to act selfishly. It is ingrained in our nature to seek our own interest first.


But as Christians, the Lord Jesus shows us how to return love for love, how to restrain our selfishness and how to be sensitive to the feelings of others, God or people.


In what way do you perceive that you become unfaithful to the Lord or to the people around you?


God does not condemn us for our weakness but continues to call us to be honest to ourselves and to be open to his grace.


The reason we pray, read the Bible, and go to the sacraments is precisely because we need inspiration, encouragement, and help to become faithful. It may take a divine miracle for it to finally happen… or it may take a lifetime of trying our best to stand up and start all over again, to be a faithful disciple.



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