4 OCTOBER 2020: Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
SHARING THE LIVING WORD
by FR. Anthony, Parochial Vicar
“Producers of Good Fruit”
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,
When queen Victoria reigned in England, she would occasionally visit some of the humble cottages of her subject. Once she entered the home of a widow and stayed there to enjoy a brief conversion. Later on the day was taunted by her neighbors, granny, they said, who was the most honored guest you have entertained in your home? They expected her to say it was Jesus, knowing her for piety, but to their surprise she answered, her majesty the queen. Did you say the queen? Ah, we caught you this time. How about Jesus, you are always talking about? Isn’t he your honored guest? She answered, no indeed, He is not a guest. He lives here. He is my life, he is our life and corner Stone for our lives. Yes, Jesus is no more a guest for us, He is the living reality rooted and grounded in our lives.
Christ, the Foundation Stone: Through this parable Jesus explains the fate of Israel. It speaks of God’s concern, it speaks of God’s Patience, it speaks of God’s judgement. Let us look at the parable’s cast of characters and see who Jesus intended them to represent in real life.
The vineyard owner, of course is God, the vineyard is the people of Israel. The tenants are the leaders of Israel. The first group of slaves are the early prophets. The second group of slaves are later prophets. The owner’s son is Jesus who was killed. The new tenants are the Apostles of Jesus. They are the new leaders of God’s people. Jesus was talking to chief priests and Pharisees. In spite of that they never changed their lives but continued in their wrong ways.
Finally, the parable teaches us about God’s patience with us and our accountability to God. Our heavenly Father is infinitely patient. But the time will come when God’s patience will give way to judgement. We too will be held accountable for our actions.
The first reading in Isaiah 5;1-7. The vineyard is a well-known symbol of the people of Israel. Like anyone who plants a vineyard and takes great care of it, so does God care for Israel, His chosen people should. They failed in their vocation and bear no fruits. They will be destroyed like any other fruitless vineyard.
In the second reading we have heard Pauls’ letter to the Philipians – Phil 4: 6-9. The Apostle exhorts fidelity to the norms and traditions of the church amidst the worries and cares of our everyday life we have to fix our thoughts and actions on that which is good and true. That is the attitude every Christian should have and foster.
Are we good fruit producers in the vineyard of the church? Jesus has given the church everything necessary to make Christians fruit bearing people. What Jesus has given? Jesus has given the following things:
1 The Bible to know the will of God.
2 The priesthood to lead the people in God’s ways.
3 The sacrament of confession for the remission of sins.
4 The Holy Eucharist as our spiritual food.
5 The sacrament of confirmation for a dynamic life of faith.
6 The sacrament of matrimony for the sharing of love in families, the fundamental unit of the church.
7 Role models in thousands of saints. We are expected to make use of these gifts and produce fruits for God.
We can be fruit producers. By the mutual sharing, by sacrificing time and talents for others, by humble service to others, by encouraging and recognizing others, by honoring parents and elders, We become producers of good fruits.