Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

“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.” (Matthew 21:33.)

In commenting on this verse from today’s Gospel, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“Observe the great care that the owner took with this place and the extraordinary recalcitrance of the people. He himself did the work the tenants should have done. It was he who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it and built a tower. He left little for them to do. All they had to do was take care of what was there and to preserve what was given to them. Nothing was left undone but all accomplished. But they made little effort to be productive, even after they had enjoyed such great blessings from him. For when they had come out of Egypt, he gave a law, and set up a city, and built a temple and prepared an altar. Then he “went into a far country.” He was patient with them. He did not always keep a close account of their sins. The meaning of “going into a far country” is God’s great patience.

He sent his servants, that is, the prophets, “to receive the fruit.” By fruit he referred to their obedience, demonstrated through their works. But even here they exhibited their wickedness. They not only failed to give the fruit, after having enjoyed so much care, thus displaying their laziness, but also were angry with the servants who came. For those who did not repay what they owed should hardly have been indignant or angry. Rather, they should have asked for the householder’s forgiveness. But they not only were indignant; they even bloodied their hands. While deserving punishment, they themselves inflicted punishment. Therefore he sent a second and a third company of servants both to show their wickedness and the love toward humanity of the One who sent them. Why didn’t he immediately send his Son? In order that they might repent and condemn themselves for the things they had done to the others. He hoped they would set aside their anger and reverence him when he came.”(The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 68.)

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.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen