Message for Sunday, October 8, 2023

Brothers and Sisters:

I share with you Father Kevin O’Sullivan’s Commentary on the Gospel Reading for today.

There are two leading thoughts that come to mind of any true believer on hearing this parable:  the infinite goodness, patience, and mercy of God in his dealings with mankind, and the unsounded depths of wickedness and ingratitude to which men can sink.  To his chosen people of the Old Testament God had given a fertile and fully equipped vineyard: his revelation, his protection, a homeland of their own in Canaan, and all this in order to prepare them for the future Messiah, who would bring them to an eternal home in God’s own kingdom.  All he asked in return was their co-operation.

But they had other plans; they wanted their kingdom on earth.  Yet God was patient with them;  again and again, he pardoned their infidelities.  He sent them prophet after prophet to recall them to their senses, but they maltreated these messengers of God and refused to heed their warnings.

Then ‘the fullness of time” came and he sent his divine Son on earth in human form.  He took his human nature from one of their race, lived among them, and preached his gospel of love and peace to them.  He tried to soften their hard hearts and made them the final offer of the Father’s mercy and pardon.  But instead of accepting God’s offer of mercy the chief priests and elders only made it an occasion of an even greater sin.  To their crimes of infidelity and injustice, they added the crucifixion of God’s Messiah and Son.

In God’s plan of love and mercy the tragedy of Calvary turned out to be the great “triumph of failure.”  That death brought life to the world and opened the gates of God’s eternal kingdom for all nations and races.  The Gentiles rallied around the standard of Christ.  A new vineyard was set up in which all persons would work for their Father in heaven and for their own eternal interests. 

We Christians today are the successors of the first Gentile followers of Christ.  We too have been called to work in God’s vineyard.  Are we working honestly and devotedly?

Are we producing the grapes and the wine that our divine Master expects of us?

Think on these things!