A fine chef uses the best ingredients in order to create a delicious dish. A good house builder takes time with the plans, hiring the workers and selecting quality materials in order to build a strong and beautiful house. A successful athlete is disciplined and practices regularly knowing that this is the key to a good performance. What we get in the future is shaped by what we do now.
As disciples of Jesus, we have been commissioned to build the Kingdom of God. We have been entrusted to build the world that God desires. We know from Scripture and the teachings of the Church that this is a world that respects the dignity of human life. It is a world of reconciliation, honesty, integrity and freedom from the oppression of poverty and hunger. It is a world of justice and peace.
Using the imagery of Scripture, if we plant rotten seeds we will get sour grapes (Isaiah 5:1-7). If we build a world of full of weapons and guns we will get a world of violence and fear. If we build a world of unchecked consumerism, we will get lots of things and end up with empty lives. If we build a world of greed, we will get poverty, hunger and homelessness. If we build societies that marginalize people and that have no regard for human life, we will get world of abortion, euthanasia and lack of regard for the elderly.
Like the tenants in the Gospel story (Matthew 21:33-43), we have been entrusted with caring for and tending the vineyard of God’s life and love in the world. Like those tenants, our efforts to do this will not always be popular or accepted, and still we are to continue to build. Building the world God desires requires using the finest materials of strong faith, steadfast hope, fervent prayer and active participation in our parish and Church. The future we build is about using the materials of our good and generous selves put at the service of the Lord and each other.
What we build now is exactly what we will get in the future. What will it be?