But we find ourselves living in a vineyard filled with hatred and division, a place where everyone is out for themselves and what they can get out of life without any concern for how it hurts the other. Many businesses around the world overwork and underpay their employees forcing them to work in subhuman conditions for less money than it is humanly possible to live on. As a nation we proliferate the arms race and threaten war rather than sit down to talk of peace and mutual cooperation. We reel once again from gun violence, the largest mass shooting in our country, and already begin to fight against stricter gun laws to prevent such senseless acts of mass gun violence.
We claim that we value the dignity of all life and yet we imprison more people than any other developed nation, we own more guns per capita than any other nation and procure more abortions. We put more people to death and continue to deny basic healthcare to the most needy in our society while we round up productive, tax paying, undocumented women and men to send them back to countries where their chances of leading successful lives are far less than here.
The vineyard is not ours. It belongs to the Creator and we need to recognize that how we live on the earth and how we treat one another matters deeply to the One who made us and who made the vineyard!
On this opening Sunday of Respect Life Month let us pray for an end to all forms of violence and disrespect of human life from conception to natural death. Let us pray an end to systemic racism and bigotry, an end to misogyny and xenophobia and all actions that disrespect the dignity and sacredness of human life.