The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel. — Isaiah 5:7
Mass readings: Isaiah 5:1-7 / Philippians 4:6-9 / Matthew 21:33-43
Sometimes an upbeat section of Scripture can appear so totally oblivious of a tragic reality, that its advice appears impossible to follow. Our second reading from Paul’s letter to the Philippians is an example. Paul exhorts his audience to dismiss all anxiety from their minds and present their needs to God with gratitude. That was probably a very difficult passage to take seriously for victims of the flooding in Australia, the earthquake in Haiti, and the tsunami in Japan. Some may have seen it as almost mocking their situation. Had I lived there, I might have been one of them.
But I’m utterly certain that God is not upset with them. He knows well how extreme situations can temporarily immobilize faith. Even Jesus cried out, “Why have you abandoned me?”
Prayer: O God, when tragedy pokes holes in my faith, please repair them.