Saint Bruno, Founder of The Carthusians
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The Lord's Vineyard, Not Our Own

PurpleVineyardBeside the warning to the

       Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day

       That their stewardship

       Of the Kingdom of God

       Will be taken away from them

There is also an implicit warning to us:

       What are we doing with the vineyard?

There are the many homilies

       Written now that turn this into

       Praise of ecology and reverence

       For the earth.


That seems to miss the mark

       Since the issue in the parable

       Wasn’t how the vineyard

       Was being taken care of

       But that the tenants refused to

       Honor their agreement with

       The owner and give him

       His percentage of the produce.

If the kingdom is God’s, 

       Then whether or not the tenants

farmed organically,

They are selfish and greedy.

       They haven’t spoiled the vineyard,

              Only their agreement.

We shouldn't spoil the vineyard

       But we should especially

       Understand that it belongs to God

       Not to any individuals.


Whatever we produce

       We owe a debt

              To God

              And to others.

This can be humbling

       Because we repay a debt

       To God on our knees

       In prayer and gratitude

       Before we repay it to others

       Perhaps in a public display

       Of generosity

      or, even better

       In a private gesture outside

       The glare of publicity.

Even if we credit ourselves

       Crafty and industrious

       More than lucky in our produce farming,

Our skills, our talents

       and our passions were given us

       by our Creator.

It can help stir our conscience

       And motivate our generosity

       To realize not only might we have

       More than others

       So can give out of virtue,

But that we didn’t

       Grow our stockpile

       Of produce

       All by ourselves

       So should give 

       In justice too.