The image of a vineyard is probably not one that was very common in Florida until recently. Vineyards have been known in California for a long time, but now as grapes are grown in almost every region, this image is more common to everyone.
What is Jesus intending with this image? Well, vineyards were known to be quite common in Israel in the time of Christ. They had to be tended and cared for, so that they would produce. Jesus is saying the same thing about his disciples and the early Church…this is a vineyard that needs attention and care.
And, really, nothing much has changed since then. We are the Vineyard of the Lord! We are the Church of Jesus Christ that always needs attention and care! We are the followers of Jesus, who want to produce an abundant harvest.
Of course, the symbol of the grape can represent the wine that is consecrated into the Blood of Christ. Every time we receive the Body and Blood of Christ we enter into this divine Eucharistic mystery. Did you know, that receiving just from the chalice that contains the Blood of Christ, one has received fully the Eucharist in our church? If a person, for whatever reason, cannot receive the host that is the consecrated Body of Christ, receiving from the chalice is sufficient to have received Holy Communion.
We all work in the Vineyard of the Lord. What a wonderful image of the church today!