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Theology for the common man

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time A year

Sunday, October 04, 2020

One of the most beautiful songs about the love of God - Yahweh, to his nation of Israel, is the content of today’s first reading: a song about the vineyard of the Lord. “The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his cherished plant.” God took care about its coming into existence and formation as its fondled vineyard expecting good fruits. Nevertheless it gave “wild grapes.” The verdict of God is ruthless: “(He will) take away its hedge, (will) give it to grazing, break through its wall, let it be trampled! (…He) will make it a ruin: it shall not be pruned or hoed, but overgrown with thorns and briers. (He) will command the clouds not to send rain upon it.” It is of course the sentence molded on the Old Testament pattern, which did not know about the Son of God and his satisfying salutary sacrifice which renovated the relationship between God and his people. And exactly to this parable about the vineyard in a new context refers Jesus. In the same time he pointed out the main reason of Israeli unbelief: the chief priests and the elders of the people to whom Jesus said the parable; because they were responsible for the poor status of the Jewish religion of their times. The vineyard, from the parable of Jesus was leased to tenants (religious leaders) in exchange for good fruits in vintage time. The lack of these fruits asks a landowner (God) to change the tenants but not at once. He gives them many chances sending his servants (prophets) which they beat, the others they killed, and the others they stoned. At last he sent his son (Jesus Christ) whom they also killed hoping to take his inheritance. The leaders noticed the point of Jesus and they knew Jesus spoke about them, blaming them for the poor condition of the Jewish religion at the time. So, now the change has to come: “The Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” The Church forms part of those people of change, which is to govern by the Holy Spirit. It is aware of his sinfulness but also of his calling to holiness; it means, to intimate life with God in Jesus’ offering. And this is exactly what Jesus wants: we as members of the Church have to give good fruits with our lives drawing from the divine source of the sacraments and the Word of God, and especially from the penance and the Eucharist. “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, and if there is anything worthy of praise think about these things,” – St. Paul teaches us today. What are we lacking to be closer to God?