Have you ever taken something worn out, broken or used and went to throw it out? It could be an old coat, a dress you never wear anymore, an old bookshelf, maybe some cardboard materials. Then, someone stops you and protests, "why would you throw that out? I could use it". You give it to them to use, and they either look incredible in it, or turn it into something beautiful, or useful. Beauty can be found even in the things we think of as junk. In third world countries, people have so little, and cherish even the smallest things, including especially those that we would throw away. Think about the amount of garbage you throw away daily, the wastes, the money used unnecessarily. We are very comfortable with over consumption and not really cherishing the little things. Think about God giving everything out of love for sinful humanity. We are the lowest, sinful and constantly turning from God, yet he continues to love, heal, support us and give us hope. What do you throw away without a second thought?
Today's Gospel states:'And he began to speak to them in parables. "A man planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a pit for the wine press, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed; and so with many others, some they beat and some they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son; finally he sent him to them, saying, `They will respect my son.' But those tenants said to one another, `This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' And they took him and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants, and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this scripture: `The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?" And they tried to arrest him, but feared the multitude, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them; so they left him and went away' (Mark 12:1-12).
In today's Gospel we hear about how the man plants a vineyard, and he sends people to reclaim what is his. They refuse too consumed by their greed and own desires to share, to really consider what it means to act in love. They even kill the owner's son. Jesus tells us that the stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. If God created it, formed it, gave purpose, then it has meaning and should have value. It's not right to over consume obviously and keep everything, that would be unhealthy. But to cherish everything God gives to us, and value so as not to waste, and then give to those who could use it, this is our calling and people in the worlds as disciples. Take some time to ask God to help you cherish everything He's given you.
Today's prayer comes from 'Catholic Bishops' a prayer to be stewards of God's creation:
As we feast our eyes on autumn reds and yellows, we sense your creative power.
As we marvel at the uniqueness of each winter flake, we rejoice that you know us each by name.
As we hear the songs of birds of spring, we yearn to sing your praises.
As we breathe the delicious scents of summer flowers, our souls rest in your love.
We have not lived out our responsibility to be faithful stewards of creation. For this, we seek your pardon.
Our over-consumption has impacted the poorest members of our human family most of all. For this, we ask your mercy.
Our actions have endangered both the lives of our children today as well as those yet to be born. For this, we seek your forgiveness.
As we meet you in nature, inspire us to see anew our place in the web of life.
In our daily lives, help us to make daily choices that reflect global solidarity.
As we reflect on the teaching of our faith, equip us to advocate for laws and policies that reflect your call to faithful stewardship.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.