The church is the vineyard of the Lord. It has been placed by God “on a fertile hillside; he spaded it, cleared it of stones, and planted the choicest vines.”
Unfortunately, what grows in this vineyard is often not a crop of grapes but wild fruit, of no use to the master.
We have within our community a good share of selfishness, power grabbing, and shortsightedness. The very same social ills that we see in the world at large can be found right here within our own community: racism, sexism, economic injustice, and marginalization.
We pray that God “forgive our failings.” We hope that God will “take care of this vine, and protect what your right hand has planted.” The challenge is for us to become a true vineyard of the Lord, free of all the sinful conditions that we lament in the world. We work for the day when Christians will form a Christian community united in love and service.
Is it too much to hope for? No, it is not, as long as we maintain our faith in our God, who can “lead us to seek beyond our reach.”
Although the Catholic Church has been endowed with all divinely revealed truth and with all means of grace, her members fail to live by them with all the fervor they should.
As a result, the radiance of the Church’s face shines less brightly in the eyes of our separated brethren and of the world at large, and the growth of God’s kingdom is retarded.
Every Catholic must therefore aim at Christian perfection and, each according to his station, play his part so that the Church ... may daily be more purified and renewed.
Vatican II, Decree on Ecumenism,1964:4