Theme: IT IS THROUGH THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT THAT THE WHOLE WORLD WILL BE SAVED
1. Today is the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year A. The readings today tell us that the Jews rejected Jesus and put him to death, but it is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that the whole world will be saved, Jews as well as pagans!
The gospel parable today on “the vineyard and the wicked tenants” tells us that God sent many prophets to the Jewish people, but they would not listen, instead they killed the prophets. Finally God sent his Son Jesus Christ, but they would not listen to him either, instead they killed him on the cross!
But it is through his death and resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that the good news is proclaimed not only to the Jews, but also to the pagans! (NJB) It is all in the merciful plan of God! Thus the quotation of Jesus:
“It was the stone rejected by the builders that became the keystone. This was the Lord’s doing and it is wonderful to see?” (Mt 21:42; SM)
Indeed, St. Paul also tells us about the merciful plan of God! St. Paul tells us that the good news was first proclaimed to the Jews, but they rejected it. Their rejection means that the good news will be proclaimed to the pagans, and when the pagans accept the good news and are blessed, the Jews will be jealous and they too will be converted and believe the good news and be saved! (Rm 11)
2. The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that the Jews rejected God by practicing social injustices, that is, by oppressing the weak and exploiting the poor!
The “song of the vineyard” in the first reading tells us that God loved and cared for Israel his chosen people. God sent them prophets, but again, they will not listen to the prophets and obey the commandments of God. Instead they practiced social injustices by exploiting the poor and oppressing the weak. Thus God punished them and they were invaded by their enemies. Thus we read in the first reading:
“Yes, the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the House of Israel, and the men of Judah that chosen plant. He expected justice, but found bloodshed, integrity, but only a cry of distress.” (Is 5:7; SM)
3. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. Thus the response of the responsorial psalm which is taken from the last verse of the first reading:
“The vineyard of the Lord is the House of Israel.” (Is 5:7; SM)
The responsorial psalm is a “prayer for the restoration of Israel”. (NJB) The responsorial psalm has four stanzas.
The first and second stanzas tell us that God has rejected Israel and left her to be ravaged by her enemies (vv. 9. 12-14; NJBC). The third and fourth stanzas tell us that Israel repented and asked God to save her (vv. 15-16. 19-20).
4. The second reading does not follow the theme of the Sunday, but the second reading has something important to tell us. The second reading tells us about peace!
The second reading tells us not to worry, but to pray if we are in need of anything. And when we pray, besides petitioning God, we must also give thanks to God. In this way we will find peace in our thoughts and in our hearts!
The second reading also tells us to think good thoughts and do good deeds. In this way we will also find peace! Peace for ourselves and peace for the whole world! A peace that the world cannot give and a peace that the world cannot take away!
5. Today in the Eucharist, we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we eat his body and drink his blood, and the Risen Lord will give us the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will help us proclaim the good news to the whole world so that all may believe and be saved!
The Holy Spirit will help us to think good thoughts, say good words and do good deeds, so that there will be peace in the world! A happy Sunday and a happy week to all of you!