27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today’s liturgy set an ominous tone in the opening prayer: …pour out your mercy upon us to pardon what conscience dreads and to give what prayer does not dare to ask.
The Prophet Isaiah raises a haunting question, “What more was there to do for my vineyard that I had not done?” This sorrowful song tells of all God has done to provide for his chosen people, only to see his cherished plant brings forth betrayal and bloodshed. The psalm echoes the shame; we will no more withdraw from you…. Jesus reports on the hostile treatment servants suffer to obtain the fruit of the vineyard, with the son himself sent and put to death.
In Laudato Si, Pope France is a prophetic voice to those entrusted with care of the vineyard. He detects in this encyclical how the global situation would engender instability—a seedbed for collective selfishness. He grasps that when people become self-centered and self-enclosed, their greed increases. The emptier a person’s heart is, the greater the need is to buy, own, and consume.
As a result, a genuine sense of the common good also disappears. He holds that our concern cannot be limited to the threat of extreme weather events, but must also extend to the catastrophic consequences of social unrest. The prediction is made that obsession with a consumerist lifestyle can only lead to violence and mutual destruction” (#204).
The great sin our conscience dreads is global indifference or powerlessness to care for our common home. “…the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruits.” How bleak must this year get before we heed the warnings of mother earth? You may want to read Laudato Si today as we honor Saint Francis of Assisi.
Let Us Pray:
Once again, O Lord, look down from heaven and see; Take care of this vine, and protect what your right hand has planted, the son of man whom you yourself made strong. (Psalm 80:15)
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