The vineyard belongs to God

Khalil Gibran once wrote “If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.”  In a very real sense, this describes God’s love for us. He loves us unconditionally and out of His generosity has provided each of us with a beautiful vineyard upon which we can produce a bountiful harvest.

Whatever vineyard God has given you, remember that He planted it with care, put in it all that was needed, and then leased it out to you. All that you treasure, you do not own; everything you have is leased out to you and you hold it in sacred trust.

At harvest time the Owner will send his servants for that portion which is rightfully His and that is when the difficulty often arises. When we have produced a bountiful harvest and are asked to give it up or let go of a portion our inclination is to resist, to claim the results as solely of our own doing, and to conveniently forget that we are only tenants, not owners.

We know from our own experience how hard it is to give up something we treasure. Sometimes it costs us dearly to give up the more precious produce of our lives.  When children grow up their parents must let them go.  Workers reach retirement age and have to give up their life-long occupation and their salary. In old age many must give up their independence and sometimes their familiar surroundings as they move to nursing homes.  And death may take from us our nearest and dearest. Is it any wonder that we resist so vehemently when we are asked to give up the produce of our lives?

The remarkable thing is that people do give up what they treasure.  Generous people give their time, energy and money in the service of their families and of others in their local communities and beyond.  People accept the loss of health and youthfulness and independence, and the loss of those they love.

How much better our world would be if everyone saw themselves, not as the owners of what they have, but as tenants, ready to share their produce when they were asked to do so. We must keep reminding one another that the vineyard is not ours. We just work here. The vineyard belongs to God.

Deacon Chuck

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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