Nothing is ours…
Nothing is ours…
One biblical commentator explains the parable in this way… “Imagine that the tenant farmers stand for ourselves and the vineyard for the world we live in. Seeing ourselves as mere tenants who owe the fruit of our labor to a landowner puts our lives in a wholly new perspective. We always like to think we really own things. We speak of my car, my house, my bank account or even my St Anthony’s Church. Well, the right to private property is rightly protected by our civil laws. But in the end, we really own nothing, not even our lives or the material things that make our lives possible. Like the farmers in the parable, we are only custodians… The notion that we really own nothing and that we are answerable to God, our landlord, for what we do with our property, is not easy to sink our teeth into. It upsets our innate acquisitiveness. But it has one overriding advantage. It just happens to be true.”
In the end, we have to come to realize the truth of life’s fragility and the fleeting nature of our own days. From an ultimate perspective, we have to realize that nothing is really ours, not even our life. Life itself is something we have to give back to our Creator. Strictly speaking, nothing is ours but time.
The parable highlights the theme of life as a stewardship. It underlines a system of managing our affairs in anticipation of the Lord’s return after a period of absence which is in direct contradiction to our current tendency to use our gifts and resources in a spirit of absolute ownership, domination and superiority. It expresses an active organization of our life in the light of the priorities required by God’s kingdom. It considers the needs of others and the requirements of the future generations. It believes that we borrow this earth from our children’s children.
“Eucharist” is the Greek word for thanksgiving which is at the heart of our Sunday celebration. At the beginning of our Eucharistic Prayer, we declare “It is right to give (God) thanks and praise.” Are we in this spirit as we come together in solidarity with fellow believers? What prayers of thanksgiving do we bring along to this Eucharist? What gifts do we bring to share with one another and with the world.
As we approach Thanksgiving weekend, let us affirm in our hearts that nothing is ours but time, that we are mere tenants in the Lord’s vineyard and that “It is right to give God our thanks and praise”.