Welcome to our weekly Understanding the Gospel Series. Through Understanding the Gospel, we seek to give parents the confidence to have conversations with their children about scripture.
Our best tip for implementing UTG is to print off this page, stick it in the car and talk about it on the way home from mass. But some families may prefer to use this as an opportunity to preview the readings ahead of time. This can also be an excellent strategy as it gives the children some knowledge going into mass and something they can “be on the lookout for” to help them stay engaged and listening.
( Remember that the meditation and questions are geared toward your kids! 🙂 )
The Vineyard of the Lord
In this week’s readings, we hear some stories about vineyards. Vineyards are farms that grow fruit – specifically, they grow grapes. In order to grow the grapes, the farmers have to work hard and take good care of the soil and the grape vines. They have to make sure the grapes have enough water to grow and that they don’t get sick. They have to till the land so that weeds don’t grow among the vines. If the farmers do a good job, the vines will produce beautiful and yummy grapes. If the farmers don’t take good care of the vines, there is a good chance the grapes will shrivel up and not taste good. In the readings, Jesus is comparing us to the farmers and the vineyard to the gifts, talents, and opportunities that He has given to us. We need to take care of all that the Lord has given to us and we need to use our gifts and talents to serve Him and build the Kingdom of God. Jesus tells us that if we do that, our gifts will bear “fruit.” Obviously, we are not talking about real fruit. He is saying that when we use our gifts and talents, Jesus is able to work through us, and people will come to know Him and grow closer to Him – and there will be real tangible evidence of that.
In the Gospel reading, we hear a parable (we talked about parables last week – do you remember what they are?) about a landowner who leaves his vineyard with some tenants while he goes on a trip. Eventually, he sends some servants back to the vineyard to collect its fruit, but the tenants beat and kill every servant the landowner sends. Eventually, the landowner sends his son, thinking that there is no way the tenants would kill his son . . . but they do. Jesus is telling this story as a way of foretelling his own death.
The parable ends by saying that the kingdom of God will be given to those who produce fruit. Which brings us back to the first reading, and the importance of taking good care of the gifts the Lord has given us and giving them back to Him for the good of the Church so that they can bear fruit.
Questions for Discussion – (Everyone answers these! Mom and Dad included!)
What gifts and talents has God given me that I can use to serve God and spread his Kingdom?
Is there any time when I have been a bad steward of my gifts?
Are there any gifts and talents that God has given me that I need to be a better steward of? How can I do that?
What are two ways that I can use my gifts and talents to better serve God this week?
As an added bonus, I’m including a free printable from a quote from the 2nd reading! I’d advise printing the PDF since it will be easier to print. Enjoy!