Two-Minute Homily by Fr Gerard Lai for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time 2023.
“May we continue to look for ways to refine our lives and accept the voice of God’s son, Jesus. By conforming ourselves to Jesus Christ, who is the cornerstone.”
- Two-Minute Homily Transcript
Two-Minute Homily TranscriptAuthor: Archdiocese of Brisbane
Today’s gospel account from Matthew recalls The Parable of the Wicked Tenants. In this parable, we have a landowner who plants grapes, he puts a hedge around it, he digs a wine press and then builds a tower. We are told he then leased it to tenants and went away on a journey. Naturally, vintage time draws near, and the landowner sends his servants to collect the harvest of the grapes. But the wicked tenants mistreated the servants, beating one, killing another and stoning the third. The landowner sent more servants, but they were mistreated in the same way as the first lot. The landowner then sent his son, thinking the tenants would respect his own family, his own blood but they took him as well and killed him. What a horrific end to the poor landowner’s servants and his son.
The parable goes on to say that the wretched tenants will be meet a wretched end. They will be replaced with new tenants who will respect the vineyard and give the landowner the produce of the land, at the right time. So, not only is this parable a story of our ancestors but it is also our story. The landowner is God and the vineyard is Israel, God’s people. The tenants are Jewish leadership. And the servants which the landowner sends represents the Old Testament prophets, heralds sent by God to preach a gospel of repentance. These prophets were often rejected and killed. And the landowners son, well that’s Jesus, whom the tenants killed and threw out of the vineyard. This parable relates to us because too often we reject the prophetic voice which cries out into the wilderness calling us to reform our lives. And sadly, when we are challenged by Jesus himself, we are often quick to reject and cast him away too.
Note that in the parable, the landowner does not remove the vineyard but only the wicked tenants. So, God will not destroy his people, only he will refine and remove the parts which are damaging, in this case, the destructive leadership qualities characterised by the wicked tenants. So may we continue to look for ways to refine our lives and accept the voice of God’s son, Jesus. By conforming ourselves to Jesus Christ, who is the cornerstone.