Parable of the vineyard
Sunday, October 08, 2017 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time 1st Reading: Isaiah 5:1-7 2nd Reading:
Philippians 4:6-9 Gospel: Matthew 21:33-43
Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people, “Listen to another example: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a fence around it, dug a hole for the winepress, built a watchtower, leased the vineyard to tenants and then went to a distant country. When harvest time came, the land owner sent his servants to the tenants to collect his share of the harvest. But the tenants seized his servants, beat one, killed another and stoned another.
“Again the owner sent more servants, but they were treated in the same way. “Finally, he sent his son, thinking: ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they thought: ‘This is the one who is to inherit the vineyard. Let us kill him and his inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
“Now, what will the owner of the vineyard do with the tenants when he comes?” They said to him, “He will bring those evil to an evil end, and lease the vineyard to others who will pay him in due time.” And Jesus replied, “Have you never read what the Scriptures say? The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; and we marvel at it. Therefore I say to you: the kingdom of heaven will be taken from you and given to a people who will yield a harvest.”
(Daily Gospel in the
“If God exists and he created this world, why is this world bad?” This was the question of Anthony Pearson, an English atheist I met in the train on my way from France to Milan in 2005. I was groping for the most convincing answer then. In today’s Gospel reading I find the answer.
The Gospel parable today emphasizes that the landowner had already done everything to prepare his property for lease. In this parable God is the landowner, the world is the vineyard and we are the lessees. Speaking through the prophet Isaiah God asks us in the First Reading of today’s Liturgy, “Now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do that I have not done for my vineyard?”
God has entrusted this kingdom to us after he made it sufficient for human beings to live a life of dignity. But we are bad caretakers. The way we take care of this kingdom reflects the depth of our love and respect for the God who created it.
Yes, Anthony Pearson, the world is bad. But it was not so in the beginning. The world turned bad because its stewards care so little. And you are one of the stewards!
– (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM
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