Newsletter — Twenty-Seventh Sunday of the Year A—8th October 2023
The First Reading this Sunday is from Isaiah 5:1-7: The Lord compares the house of Israel to a vineyard. The Responsorial Psalm is taken from Psalm 80: The Lord protects his vineyard, the house of Israel. Our Second Reading today is Philippians 4:6-9: Paul encourages the Philippians to stay faithful to the teaching they received from him. This Sunday’s Gospel Reading is from Matthew 21:33-43: Jesus tells the parable about the wicked tenants.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus once again speaks to the priests and elders with a parable. In this parable, the landowner leases his vineyard to tenants and sends his servants to collect the portion of the harvest that the tenants owe to him. Several times the servants are sent to collect payment, and each time they are beaten and killed by the tenants. Finally, the landowner sends his son to collect his rent. The tenants, believing that they will inherit the vineyard if the landowner dies without an heir, plot together
and kill the landowner’s son.
After telling the parable, Jesus questions the chief priests and elders about what the landowner will do to the wicked tenants. They all agree that the landowner will kill the wicked tenants and give the land to new tenants who will pay the rent.
In telling the parable, Jesus is clearly drawing upon Isaiah 5:1-7, which is today’s first reading and one that the priests and elders would have known well. The chief priests and elders have condemned themselves with their answer to Jesus’ question.
This Gospel reminds us of the importance of listening to God’s word. God speaks to us in many ways—through Scripture, through our Church tradition, in our Church’s teaching, and through modern-day prophets. Are we attentive and receptive to God’s word to us through these messengers?