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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Sunday 27th (A) in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Isa 5:1-7): Let me now sing of my friend, my friend's song concerning his vineyard. My friend had a vineyard on a fertile hillside; he spaded it, cleared it of stones, and planted the choicest vines; within it he built a watchtower, and hewed out a wine press. Then he looked for the crop of grapes, but what it yielded was wild grapes.

Now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard: What more was there to do for my vineyard that I had not done? Why, when I looked for the crop of grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes? Now, I will let you know what I mean to do with my vineyard: take away its hedge, give it to grazing, break through its wall, let it be trampled! Yes, I will make it a ruin: it shall not be pruned or hoed, but overgrown with thorns and briers; I will command the clouds not to send rain upon it.

The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his cherished plant; he looked for judgment, but see, bloodshed! for justice, but hark, the outcry!
Responsorial Psalm: 79
R/. The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel.
A vine from Egypt you transplanted; you drove away the nations and planted it. It put forth its foliage to the Sea, its shoots as far as the River.

Why have you broken down its walls, so that every passer-by plucks its fruit. The boar from the forest lays it waste, and the beasts of the field feed upon it?

Once again, o Lord of hosts, look down from heaven, and see; take care of this vine, and protect what your right hand has planted the son of man whom you yourself made strong.

Then we will no more withdraw from you; give us new life, and we will call upon your name. O Lord, God of hosts, restore us; if your face shine upon us, then we shall be saved.
2nd Reading (Phil 4:6-9): Brothers and sisters: Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 15:16): Alleluia. I have chosen you from the world, says the Lord, to go and bear fruit that will remain. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 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 landowner 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».

«Finally, he sent his son, thinking: ‘They will respect my son’»

+ P. Jorge LORING SJ (Cádiz, Spain)

Today, we contemplate the mystery of the shunning of God, in general, and of Christ, in particular. Men's repeated resistance and rejection of God's love, is quite extraordinary.

But today's parable specifically refers to the Jewish rejection of Christ: «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» (Mt 21:37-39). This is not easy to understand: is it because Christ came to redeem the whole world, while the Jews ware awaiting their own “messiah” who would grant them the dominance of the whole world...

When I was in the Holy Land I was given a tourist pamphlet about Israel where they describe the most famous Jews in history: from Moses, Gideon and Joshua to Ben Gurion, who was responsible for the creation of the State of Israel. However, in that pamphlet it does not appear Jesus Christ's name. And Jesus is the best-known Jew in history: today He is known in the whole world, though He died two thousand years ago...

Great persons are admired, throughout time, but they are not loved. Today, nobody loves Cervantes or Michael Angel. However, Jesus is the most beloved personage in history. Men and women give their live for Him. Some through martyrdom; others, drop-by-drop, living only for Him. There are thousands of them in the whole world.

And Jesus is the most influential figure in history. Some world wide accepted values today have a Christian origin. Not only, but today it is to be noticed a rapprochement to Jesus Christ, and also amongst the Jews (“our elderly brothers in the Faith”, as said by John Paul II). Let us specially beg to God for the conversion of the Jewish people, because this people, of great values, if converted to Catholicism, could bring great benefits to the whole of mankind.

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