Respect Life Sunday
In today’s first reading the prophet Isaiah speaks in parable form. The vineyard is the people of God. God had done many things to cultivate faith in His people, but in spite of all the graces, blessings and efforts, the vineyard “yielded wild grapes.” In the Gospel today Jesus takes Isaiah’s parable one step further, as he puts himself in the story. In Jesus’ version, the Son is sent to save the vineyard, to protect the most vulnerable plants from being ruined. But when the evil tenants saw the Son, “They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.”
The parable continues with a warning that death awaits those who have killed his Son. Likewise, judgment and accountability await those who kill him in the unborn child, in the person with a disability denied fair treatment, in the elderly who are neglected and seen as a burden, and in the prisoner put to death by the state.
Eternal life awaits those who embrace the Gospel of Life and seek to bring truth, life and beauty to the vineyard God has planted. This is the purpose of Respect Life Sunday. We are to be reminded that we are all caretakers of God’s vineyard and all God’s gifts. Ours is the call to save lives and particularly to safeguard the lives of the most vulnerable among us. Let us proclaim that life, preserve it, and devote ourselves to its protection. All this we do in the name of Christ our Lord. Amen.