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Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 4, 2020): IS 5:1-7; PS 80:9,12,13-14,15-16,19-20; PHIL 4:6-9; MT 21:33-43
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
We need to put God first in our lives. If we reject the mercy that the Son of God offers to each of us and asks us to share with others, we are not returning the good produce, the good fruit, He asks of us.
“Hear another parable.” Today’s Gospel offers another in a series of parables that Jesus addressed to all those who came to hear Him, but particularly to the chief priest and elders. The story is about the tenants of a vineyard who violently defy the landowner to whom they owe their loyalty. Instead, they beat, stone, and even kill the servants he sends to obtain the produce that belongs to him. Thinking that the tenants to respect his son, the landowner sends him. Yet he, too, is killed. Jesus asks His listeners what they think will happen next. They give the obvious answer: the tenants will be put to death, and the vineyard will be entrusted to tenants who will do what is expected of them. It is easy to see the religious leaders as the tenants who failed in their duties. They primarily want want to satisfy themselves. They also put their pride and selfishness before their responsibility to God and His people. “Jesus said to them, ‘Did you never read in the Scriptures: The stone that the builders rejected has has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes? Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit” (Matthew 21:42-43).
Looking back all these generations later, it’s easy to point a finger at those who did not accept Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, the Redeemer. Yet, we, too, are required to fulfill our own obligations. We need to put God first in our lives. If we reject the mercy that the Son of God offers to each of us and asks us to share with others, we are not returning the good produce, the good fruit, He asks of us. Saying we believe in Christ and acting like we do are not the same. Once again, we are called to understand the consequences of the choices that we make every day. We are meant to offer the love, generosity, and forgiveness that our Lord gives us to our neighbors as well. Only then will we understand what the Kingdom of God really means – and enter it with grateful, humble and holy hearts.
For resources for the celebration of World Mission Sunday / Mission Month, including materials for prayer and reflection, visit this website.