Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A

Jesus in today’s Gospel, Matthew 21:33-43, tells us another parable about a landowner and his workers.

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." (Matthew 22: 33-41)

Jesus’ story implicates that the Kingdom of God is not always received with grace and acceptance. Sin and death seem still having power over us. Our world is still filled with hatred, dishonor, lying, torturing, abusing, or killing. It is a rough world that we live in, and yet the Kingdom is here even in the midst of disorder and chaos.

The Kingdom of God was established by Jesus through his death and resurrection. And He wants the whole human race to live in this kingdom of truth, life, holiness, grace, peace, love and justice.

Indeed, to be part of this Kingdom is our sole hope. We all want to be with our Lord. We want to be loved and cared for. We want to live forever in God’s house. Then, let us all, who believe that God’s kingdom must be reign now, work for it.

Let us ponder again the Prayer of Saint Francis. It may help us to figure out our concrete actions.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is dispair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Fr. Phi Nguyen

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