Fr Vincent's reflections on the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Even if we would like to believe when Jesus speaks to the Chief Priests and Elders, it only applies to them, we know we need to listen, too. Have you ever thought about the consequences of not paying attention to Jesus?
watch the video: Fr Vincent's reflections on the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
read the message:
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Video Message 2020
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. R/. Amen.
The Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. R/. And with your spirit.
On this 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, let us pray:
Almighty ever-living God,
who in the abundance of your kindness
surpass the merits and the desires of those who entreat you,
pour out your mercy upon us
to pardon what conscience dreads
and to give what prayer does not dare to ask.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. R/. Amen.
As before, if you don’t have your Bible with you, please pause this video to retrieve your Bible so you can follow along. The Gospel today is Matthew 21:33-43.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
“Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near,
he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
another they killed, and a third they stoned.
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones,
but they treated them in the same way.
Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking,
‘They will respect my son.’
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another,
‘This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’
They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?”
They answered him,
“He will put those wretched men to a wretched death
and lease his vineyard to other tenants
who will give him the produce at the proper times.”
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.”
The Gospel of the Lord. R/. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Fortunately Jesus addresses this parable to “the chief priests and the elders of the people,” therefore it does not apply to us! Seriously, if we had been around at that time, we would never have treated the prophets that way, and definitely not Jesus himself, so we must be safe, correct? The Church gives us this parable just so we know what happens to really bad people who kill other people, right? This helps us to know how good and safe we are because we read the Bible and believe in Jesus and everything he says. Isn’t it good to have nothing to worry about? Do you believe all this stuff I just said? There are many Christian people who do! In their unshakeable self-confidence they truly think this parable cannot apply to them. I hope you and I can be more honest with ourselves than that.
Yes, in truth, we are basically good people. We are not out-and-out murders or so greedy to think that we could freely steal what does not belong to us. And this, I do mean sincerely. However, we are not sin-free, if we are honest with ourselves. You and I, often without thinking, can ignore the messages of Scripture, even if we know the truth. And, with similar carelessness, we can allow ourselves to live contrary to the expectations of Jesus which he has taught us through the Gospels and the teachings of the Church. We simply make daily choices that serve us in the moment and do not consider the consequences for our decisions.
You see, today’s prayers and Scriptures are about consequences. So many people, giving into their surface desires and emotions, do not consider the consequences of their decisions. We can believe that careless decisions are like accidents, and the consequences should be dismissed because the word or action happened more by accident than by pre-meditated intent. After all, we are good people who would not intentionally hurt anyone. Yet, you and I do hurt others; we do not fully embrace the teachings of Sacred Scripture and the expectations of God to be morally just and consistently loving toward others. There are consequences for our thoughtlessness just as much as there are consequences for deliberately committed evil acts.
To live knowing that every thought, every word, every action carries a consequence, not based on intention, [remember the old adage: “ the road to hell is paved with good intentions”?], but on the impact those thoughts, words, and actions have upon other people is to understand what Jesus is teaching in today’s parable. God wants conscientious tenets taking care of his vineyard, people who know their role and their obligations and live up to those expectations. Our reflection today must be on my personal acceptance of responsibility for my life and decisions, and that God is wonderfully merciful so that I have the chance to learn and to improve. What we ask for is “one more chance,” a delay in the consequences of our poor choices, so that we can do right and merit a positive consequence from our good choices. As I have learned growing up, and as I have shared many times, avoiding evil does not make us good. Doing good for the sake of loving God and others is the only way, truly, to live the Scriptures with a valid expectation that we will receive the reward promised by Jesus. That’s the consequence I want!
The Lord be with you. R/. And with your spirit.
And may the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, ✠ and the Holy Spirit,
come down on you and remain with you for ever. R/. Amen.