Appreciation (Gratitude)

March 10, 2023

Each day, I reflect upon a word or phrase inspired by the readings of the day. I encourage you to do the same and perhaps incorporate that word or phrase into your daily prayer.

Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit. (Matthew 21:45-46)

APPRECIATION: In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus told the story of a landowner who built a beautiful vineyard on fertile ground and offered tenants a gift – the opportunity to work the land and benefit from its yield. At vintage time, the ungrateful tenants refused to give the landowner what he was due. Even worse, they abused the gift and showed their contempt by mistreating his servants.

The parable ended by saying the landowner will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times.

We are told exactly what this parable means. Jesus said, Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.

God offers us two incredible gifts. First is the gift of life here on earth; it is freely given and can be opened right away. Second is the gift of eternal life; this gift is earned.

We have three options for responding to these gifts:

Option 1: We can ignore both gifts. We acknowledge the gifts but reject them. We are in control and do not need help from God or anyone else. We roll the dice and move forward on our own. Our vine may produce fruit, but it will likely be wild and unusable. 

Option 2: We can misuse or abuse the gifts. We can take advantage of all the first gift has to offer, but give nothing in return – no gratitude and no thought of paying it forward. Our vine will grow but fail to produce fruit; it will be uprooted and thrown in the fire. The second gift will be taken back and given to someone else more deserving.

Option 3: We can embrace the gifts. We can be grateful and take advantage of the rich soil and careful tending by the landowner. Our vine will grow strong and produce a great yield. We can then use what we need for ourselves, give the landowner what he is due, and share our excess with others in need.  

What option have we chosen? How have we responded to the gift of life – this beautiful vineyard – God has given us? Have we ignored it, misused it, or embraced it? How will we respond moving forward?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s