HOMILY OCTOBER 4 2020, 27TH SUNDAY
MT 21,33 -PARABLE OF THE VINEDRESSERS.
In today’s Gospel, a rather terrifying picture may be presented to some.
The owner of the vineyard sends, at time of harvest for his share of the produce; The tenants mistreat his agents and beat them, killing one and stoning another. Then the Master sends another group, more numerous than the first. These the tenants treat roughly likewise. Finally, the master sends his own son and heir. But him the tenants kill, hoping to seize for themselves the inheritance.
So when the Master arrives in his power and fury, how will those tenants be treated?
It is indeed not unjust to surmise, with the scribes and Pharisees, that justice might be done and that the wicked may be wickedly destroy. Our Saviour, the Son of God was killed and crucified, and still to this day we neglect to build, His kingdom.
Now this earth is the vineyard and we the tenants, and the Lord is owner and master, for the Lord’s is the earth and its fullness, the world and all its peoples. Is our behaviour such that the Lord may repent him for letting loose such a crazy species as ourselves upon an otherwise delicate environment?
Nature may survive, but with terrifying carelessness will cut off those who misbehave and poison the poisonous. However, there is good news.
Our relationship with the Lord is not that of abject tenant and extortionate landlord. Indeed, by the teaching of Christ, we dare to call the God of the Universe OUR FATHER. And of Christ we hear: BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD, BEHOLD HIM WHO TAKES AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD.
For while The Lord’s is indeed the Earth, the text continues: the world and all its peoples. We are His people, the sheep of his pasture. In Him we live and move and have our being. He is that by which we perceive everything good and beautiful upon the earth. Indeed, the whole sum of our past deeds, good and bad alike, have now become part of God’s creation and form the ground on which we stand in His presence, awaiting his love and mercy, not in vain. At every moment The Lord in His mercy says: Behold I make all things new. This is the dawn of creation.
So when we find the roaring waves beating on the storm beach of Grafton Street, let us rejoice and be glad: this is the first day of the rest of our life, and the Lord is with us still, ever patiently, creatively and mercifully building the Kingdom even on these flimsy foundations.