Saturday, October 1, 2011

Reflections Twenty- Seven Sunday of Year A: Udoekpo, Michael

Twenty-Seven Sunday Year A: Reflections – Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo
Readings: Isa 5:1-7; Ps 80: 9,12-16, 19-20; Phil 4:6-9 and Matt 21: 33-43.
The Song of Love of God

I do love songs and music. I believe most people do. Song, in my native languages, (Efik/ Ibibio and Annang), is known as Ikwo. But the question is what type of “song, or Ikwo do we sing or listen to? What ever our selected and individual songs may be, particular songs are recommended in the  Bible lessons of today; the songs of our duty to God, fruits he expects us to bear, keeping the covenant, (Exod 19–24), the song of the love  of God and neighbor that runs, through our Jewish and Christian Scriptures.

Prophet Isaiah of the 7 century BC of Judah lives always with the tension of warning Judah of the danger of not bearing fruit of the love God and neighbors. He does this creatively and skillfully in the allegorical hymn of his beloved God about his metaphorical vineyard, Judah.

In spite of all the loving care God has lavished upon Israel from creation through Egypt’s and desert’s liberations, it has produced nothing except “wild and worthless grapes,” bloodshed, injustices and all kinds of violent cry, rather than righteousness.

Echoes of Isaiah’song are clearly heard in the Gospel of Matthew today. God the Land owner ((oikodeespothj) has planted us  as his vineyard (ampelwna) in this world in various roles and places to bear good fruits, to be accountable, prudent, responsible and to act justly in loving God and our neighbors. This is the Song!

Often times these could be very challenging in the manifest secular songs of subjectivism, terrorism, and wars, violent and faithless acts of rejecting the teachings of Christ and of the Church which we see daily in our contemporary world today.

In spite of these challenges and many more, St. Paul in the Second Reading gives us a quick reminder not to be ‘wild grapes,’ but bear those good fruits expected of us: doing “whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, excellence and worthy of praise”  and all that we have been taught by the Church (Phil 4:6-9) and seen in the lives of the saints.

It might include, feeding the poor, restraining from violent and war mongering, visiting the sick and the aged, embarking on a charitable apostolate with friends, families and community members, working to heal the wound of divisions and being faithful to our divine callings, the Covenant. This is the Song!

Lord may we continue to realize that you have given everything its place in the world, and no one can do otherwise.