Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures:
‘The stone that the builders rejected 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).
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. Jesus doesn’t, therefore, have to explain the symbolism of the parable; the Pharisees would have understood that the vineyard represented Israel, the landowner represented God, the servants represented the prophets, and the bad tenants represented the religious leaders. Yet Jesus nonetheless explains the meaning of the parable for his audience: the Kingdom of God will be taken from the unbelieving and given to the faithful. The chief priests and elders have condemned themselves with their answer to Jesus’ question.Loyola Press – Sunday Connection
We can draw from today’s gospel that we all have our own vineyards given to us from God. We should always welcome Jesus into our vineyards and be welcoming since they are gifts to us. Learning from the parable, we should fight against our own wishes of selfishness and work harder towards the loving will of the Lord.
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