SR-2017-10-15

SUNDAY READINGS REFLECTIONS
For the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle A) – October 15, 2017


ORDINARY TIME:
Liturgical Color – Green (Stands for Growth, hope, life.)
Purpose –
To recall the life of Christ, reminded that God is always there to help us live as Christians.
(Cycle A) – Matthew’s Gospel is used primarily during the Sunday Mass, Liturgy of the Word’s Gospel Reading.


WHY BIBLE STUDY?
The desired end result of true study of the Bible is to hear God’s voice. That is, to find Him in His word and understand His word so that it may generate in us both gratitude and obedience. Add to this that the Christian faith is not something to be enjoyed alone, but to be shared.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life;” (John 5:24)


28th Sunday in Ordinary Time Theme: The Banquet Is Ready.

When we read about God providing us with Banquets and Gifts, we should know that we are not only to be thankful, grateful, and happy to receive them but God wants us to partake of them, enjoy them, open them up, and share them with others so that His glory is known, shown, acclaimed and celebrated. We won’t draw many people to God by just proclaiming His laws and judgment, we must show how He has provided us with His wonderful banquets and gifts and how they have benefited us. His best Banquet is the Kingdom of Heaven where He provides His best Gift of “eternal life”.

In Reading 1 and the Gospel reading, Isaiah and Jesus use the image of a sumptuous banquet to describe the fullness of life that God offers us and the abundant mercy that God wishes to offer not only to Israel but to all people.  In Reading 2, Paul shares how he has come, through grace, to depend on God in good times and in bad.


  • Reading 1 – Isaiah 25:6-10a      The Lord will provide richly for His people.
  • Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 23:1-6      The Lord is our Shepherd.
  • Reading 2 Philippians 4:12-14,19-20      Paul tells the Philippians that God provides whatever he
  • Gospel Matthew 22:1-14     Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a wedding feast.

(This Bible Study’s primary references used are from St Joseph Sunday Missal (Themes), Loyola Press, CatholicCulture.org,  Ascension Catholic Church Sunday Reflections, USCCB, Understanding the Scriptures by Scott Hahn,  St Thomas Aquinas’ Works, RSV Oxford Annotated Bible, Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, St Charles Borromeo Bible Studies, LUMINA Bible Study, The Franciscans St. Anthony’s Guild, and Haydock’s Catholic Bible Commentary.)


NOTE: To gain clarity of understanding in all of the following scriptural passages that have many inline footnotes, first read only the purple colored scriptural words in the passage. Then re-read the passage along with the green colored inline footnotes.



Reading 1     Isaiah 25:6-10a                        (God as Savior)

Context –  The keynote of the Book of Isaiah is salvation (Isaiah’s name means “Jehovah saves”). He was the prophet of the southern kingdom, Judah, and lived at the time (ie. 742 – 687 BC) when the northern kingdom, Israel, whose capital was Jerusalem, was destroyed. At this time all that was left of the old kingdom of David was Judah, which included the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and the Levites. He prophesized for 64 years. He prophesized doom  for a sinful Judah and Israel and for all the nations of the world that oppose God. Then, he prophesized God’s restoration of the nation of Israel, including Judah, and this is interpreted by Christians as prefiguring the coming of Christ. After the Psalms, Isaiah is the Old Testament book most quoted in the New Testament.

Today’s Reading – Images of a banquet are used to sum up the blessings that God’s people will experience on the last day. Notice that this heavenly banquet is prepared not only for the people of Israel, but for all people who hear and answer God’s call. At this feast, the “veil” or all that separates us from God will be lifted and the spider’s “web” that imprisons us in ignorance and isolation will be brushed aside. Tears, guilt and shame will be replaced with joy.

The reading is intended to give hope to a people who may have felt abandoned by God because of some bad things that have recently happened to them. Isaiah also speaks of a time of restoration in these verses. The day will come when God will return and renew the broken covenant. This will take place symbolically on a mountain just as the original covenant was made with Moses on a mountain.


On this mountain (a figure of the Church, and of Heaven) the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast (banquet – see Theme) of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines (The banquet signifies the spiritual blessings that God brings to humankind through His kingdom.). On this mountain He will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over all nations; He will destroy death forever (A promise of everlasting life in Heaven.). The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from every face; the reproach of His people He will remove from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken. On that day it will be said: “Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that He has saved us!” For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.


PAUSE and reflect on how the above speaks to you. 



Responsorial Psalm.     Psalm 23:1-6                       (Dwelling with the Lord)

Today’s Psalm –  God’s shepherding care for His people is celebrated in both pastoral and banquet imagery by this 23rd Psalm. It is a Psalm that expresses confidence in God’s protection. You spread the table before me” as is mentioned below, is in line with the Theme of God’s Banquet.


R. – I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant
(green, abundant and grassy) pastures He gives me repose; beside restful waters He leads me (Pastures and restful waters are God’s gifts to us.); He refreshes my soul.
R. – I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
He guides me in right paths for His name’s sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for You are at my side with Your rod
(for protection) and Your staff (for guiding – Abbot Richard Antonucci’s Staff is a symbol of leading his faithful flock along the path of salvation, disciplining and protecting them as needed.) that give me courage.
R. – I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes
(God provides for us in a world beset with distractions, evil, and tragedy); You anoint my head with oil (The shepherd applies oil to the head of the sheep to repel flies, insects, and snakes. – God protects us.); my cup overflows (An overflowing cup is a sign to a visitor that his hosts wants him to stay as opposed to no refill which signifies – time to go!! –  God wants us to stay with Him forever.).
R. – I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come
(Trust in the Lord, His way will get you to Heaven and the trials of the trip will be lost in the joys at His Banquet – the Kingdom of Heaven.)
R. – I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.


PAUSE and reflect on how the above speaks to you.          The commentary, in part in the above, was taken from the book entitled “Safe in the Shepherd’s Arms” by Max Lucado.



Reading 2.     Philippians 4:12-14,19-20                     (Sharing the Hardships)    

Context – St. Paul founded the church in Philippi (in northern Greece) in 50 AD and this letter was written about ten years later. Philippians is a letter of thanks and encouragement to a congregation of dear friends of Paul. They supported the imprisoned apostle with their prayers and financial assistance. Much of this letter challenges the Philippians to grow in spiritual maturity and imitating both their Savior and their founding apostle. He holds up Jesus Christ as the model of humility and selfless love  and himself as a model of patient endurance.

Today’s Reading – While in prison, some of the Philippians send Paul gifts to help him endure the hardships of prison life. While grateful for the gifts, Paul shares that through his missionary journeys he has learned to be content with both famine and feast. Eating well or going hungry cannot compare with the strength Paul experiences in surrendering his life to Christ. He learns what Mary, the sister of Martha, had also come to know: “that only one thing is necessary,” namely, belonging to and being possessed by Christ. With Christ, Paul can say: “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me” . Paul concludes by exhorting his readers to place their trust in the “magnificent riches of God.”


Brothers and sisters: I know how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I can do all things in Him who strengthens me (Christ gives to His apostle the power to endure all things for the sake of the spread of the gospel.). Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress. My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (St. Paul does not ask God to make them rich or affluent. He asks only that God may ‘supply their every need’ – so they will not be in want but will have what they need.” – Saint John Chrysostom) To our God and Father, glory forever and ever. Amen.


PAUSE  and reflect on how the above speaks to you.           God is the provider of His people’s needs. May we ever be mindful of this truth and be grateful to Him! – The Lord is my Shepherd! 



Gospel     Matthew 22:1-14                            (The Wedding Banquet)

Context – Matthew’s Gospel, written prior to 70 AD, is the first book of the New Testament, not because it was written first – some of Paul’s epistles take that honor – but because it is a bridge between the Old and New Testaments. His purpose was to  prove to his fellow Jews that Jesus is the One to whom all the Jewish prophets point: the Messiah, the Christ, the King of the Jews. To accomplish his mission He uses more Old Testament quotations and references than any other Gospel.

Today’s Reading – Jesus is in Jerusalem for His passion. He has made His triumphal entry and has upset the religious leaders. He is speaking to them in parables about His mission and by whose authority He has been able to do what He has done and is to do. The parable we hear today summarizes the long history of God’s dealings with humankind – a series of invitations to a life guided by the Holy Spirit and portrays humankind’s  negative response to these invitations to share in the messianic blessings.

Like Reading 1, above, the Kingdom of God is imaged as a banquet to which all are invited to attend. The main focus of the parable is the response or lack of response of the invited guests. In this parable, Jesus continues to call the Pharisees and the religious leaders to conversion. Two invitations have been extended but the invitees refuse to come. Some even abuse and kill the servants delivering the invitations (a reference to the fate of some of the Old Testament prophets and the early Christian missionaries).

By the time Matthew writes his Gospel (85AD), Jesus has died, Jerusalem has been sacked and burned by the Romans (70AD), and the Gentiles have been invited into the Kingdom. It would be wrong to assume that the King in the story stands for a God—which would leave us with a pretty nasty image of a punishing God, rather than of a God who saves. As stated above, the main point of the parable is not about what God is like, but about the negative response of the religious leaders and all invited to Jesus’ call to enter the Kingdom that He is inaugurating.


Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people in parables, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. (The messianic kingdom (Kingdom of Heaven) was referred to in the Old Testament in terms of a wedding feast (a Banquet) to which the Chosen People were invited (recall Reading 1 for today). The wedding feast was the high point of the wedding festivities and to be invited to it was a distinct honor. Failure to accept the invitation constituted a grave breach of courtesy – to the point it could even be considered a hostile act.)  He dispatched his servants (the prophets) to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.”‘ Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. (In effect, they denied the urgency, they become careless with the things of God. They are preoccupied with material things. Sound familiar?)  The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. (This can only be seen as a prophecy of the destruction to come to Jerusalem in A.D. 70.) Then he said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited (the Jews) were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find (the Gentiles).’ The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests, he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. (A clean white garment (washed in the blood of the lamb) was the proper attire, this man has not repented. His white baptismal garment is dirty. Even though he may belong to the Church, if he doesn’t repent and have the proper dispositions, he will be condemned on the day when God judges all humankind. He may have made the altar call and “accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior,” but he has failed to live out that call. This is an example which shows that “once saved, always saved” doesn’t work.) The king said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence. Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ Many are invited, but few are chosen.” (These words don’t conflict with God’s desire that all should be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). In His love for humankind, Christ patiently searches even the byroads seeking the conversion of every single soul, going so far as to die on the cross so that the entrance to the Heavenly Banquet is opened. However, God in His infinite wisdom and love respects humankind’s freedom: humankind is free (our Free Will) to reject God’s grace.)


PAUSE  and reflect on how the above speaks to you.



Catechism 546 – Jesus’ invitation to enter His kingdom comes in the form of parables, a characteristic feature of His teaching. Through His parables He invites people to the feast of the Kingdom, but He also asks for a radical choice: to gain the Kingdom, one must give everything. Words are not enough, deeds are required. The parables are like mirrors for humankind: will we be hard soil or good earth for the word? What use have we made of the talents we has received? Jesus and the presence of the Kingdom in this world are secretly at the heart of the parables. One must enter the Kingdom, that is, become a disciple of Christ, in order to “know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven”. For those who stay “outside”, everything remains enigmatic (i.e. being beyond one’s powers to know, understand, or explain). 



 

SR-2017-10-8

SUNDAY READINGS REFLECTIONS
For the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle A) – October 8, 2017


“For I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: …. For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith; as it is written, “The one who is righteous by faith will live.” (Romans 1:16-17)


27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Theme: Righteousness.

Righteousness is defined as the living, dynamic relationship between us and God wherein we are spiritually and morally acceptable to God. It is conformity to God’s will in word, thought, and action; living a consistently conscientious (ethical, honest, honorable, just, moral, principled, scrupulous) life. It’s” using our Free Will to do what we ought rather than always what we want” (St. Pope John Paul II).

Reading 1 and the Gospel reading present an image of Israel as a vineyard where God the Divine Planter and Cultivator has sown His seed. But Israel has failed miserably to produce a good harvest. In Reading 2, Paul exhorts the Philippians to avoid anxiety, to be prayerful, and to constantly seek to do what is honorable, good, and true.


  • Reading 1 – Isaiah 5:1-7      The Lord compares the house of Israel to a vineyard.
  • Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 80:9,12-16,19-20      The Lord protects His vineyard, the house of Israel.
  • Reading 2 Philippians 4:6-9      Paul encourages the Philippians to stay faithful to the teaching they received from him.
  • Gospel Matthew 21:33-43     Jesus tells the parable about the wicked tenants.

 


NOTE: To gain clarity of understanding in all of the following scriptural passages that have many inline footnotes, first read only the purple colored scriptural words in the passage. Then re-read the passage along with the green colored inline footnotes.



Reading 1     Isaiah 5:1-7                  (The Lord’s Vineyard)

Context –  The keynote of the Book of Isaiah is salvation (Isaiah’s name means “Jehovah saves”). He was the prophet of the southern kingdom, Judah, and lived at the time (ie. 742 – 687 BC) when the northern kingdom, Israel, whose capital was Jerusalem, was destroyed. At this time all that was left of the old kingdom of David was Judah, which included the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and the Levites. He prophesized for 64 years. He prophesized doom  for a sinful Judah and Israel and for all the nations of the world that oppose God. Then, he prophesized God’s restoration of the nation of Israel, including Judah, and this is interpreted by Christians as prefiguring the coming of Christ. After the Psalms, Isaiah is the Old Testament book most quoted in the New Testament.

Today’s Reading – Isaiah is prophesying in Jerusalem prior to the destruction of the northern kingdom, Israel.  Israel is God’s vineyard which He transplanted from Egypt into the land of Canaan and carefully cared for and cultivated it. There is nothing that He did not do for His vineyard. Isaiah’s listeners are compelled to admit that absolutely nothing has been wanting in God’s dealings with them. The Planter and Cultivator of the vineyard naturally expects the vineyard to produce good fruit. But all it yields is “sour grapes”—bloodshed, oppression and infidelity. God sowed peace, but got violence from His people. God looked for true worship and got idolatry. God sowed seeds of justice, but injustice grew up. The message is clear. God has given all; Israel has yielded nothing. As a result, the Owner is going to withdraw His protecting hand and Israel will be transplanted into exile, subjected to a drought, and given the opportunity to repent and make a new choice for God.


Let me now sing of my Friend (God), my Friend’s song concerning His vineyard (the people of Israel). My Friend had a vineyard on a fertile hillside; He spaded it, cleared it of stones, and planted the choicest vines; within it He built a watchtower, and hewed out a wine press. Then He looked for the crop of grapes, but what it yielded was wild grapes. (All of this describes God’s careful preparation of the  Israelis to bring forth spiritual fruit. Yet all His work was for naught; His finest vines (the people) disappointed Him.)

Now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between Me and My vineyard: What more was there to do for My vineyard that I had not done? Why, when I looked for the crop of grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes? (All of this describes how then Isaiah confronted his audience, the people of Israel, by asking them – What more could God have done to insure a righteous relationship (a good crop) rather than incurring their sinfulness (a bad crop) ? The answer is that God did all that was necessary, but the people did not do their part.) Now, I will let you know what I mean to do with my vineyard: take away its hedge, give it to grazing, break through its wall, let it be trampled! Yes, I will make it a ruin: it shall not be pruned or hoed, but overgrown with thorns and briers; I will command the clouds not to send rain upon it. (All of this prophesies that God will put the Israelis in exile.) The vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his cherished plant; he looked for judgment, but see, bloodshed! for justice, but hark, the outcry! (God requires righteousness from His people, but if we use our Free Will to produce the contrary, then we shall experience the consequences of our sins.)


PAUSE and reflect on how the above speaks to you.          Other symbolisms of Israel being a vineyard – Hosea 10:1-2 “Israel is a luxuriant vine whose fruit matches its growth. The more abundant His fruit, the more altars He built; The more productive His land, the more sacred pillars He set up. Their heart is false! Now they will pay for their guilt: God will break down their altars and destroy their sacred pillars.”.  Jeremiah 2:21 – “But I had planted you as a choice vine, all pedigreed stock; How could you turn out so obnoxious to Me, a spurious vine?”.  Ezekiel 19:10-14 – ” Your mother was like a leafy vine planted by water, Fruitful and full of branches because of abundant water. One strong branch grew into a royal scepter. So tall it towered among the clouds, conspicuous in height, with dense foliage. But she was torn out in fury and flung to the ground; The east wind  withered her up, her fruit was plucked away; Her strongest branch dried up, fire devoured it. Now she is planted in a wilderness, in a dry, parched land. Fire flashed from her branch, and devoured her shoots; Now she does not have a strong branch, a royal scepter!”.



Responsorial Psalm.     Psalm 80:9,12-16,19-20                  (Safety in the Lord)

Today’s Psalm –  The theme of the vineyard is continued in this psalm. The psalmist petitions God to watch His vineyard.

God’s people are similar to a grape vine in that God has called us to be a blessing to others. However if we do not walk in trust and obedience, God may prune us back and limit our fruitfulness, with a view to increasing our ultimate productivity. The vine experiences blessing itself as it becomes a blessing to others. If we depart from God we need to call on Him to restore our fruitfulness and commit ourselves to Him again. (From Thomas Constable)


R. – The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel.
A vine from Egypt You transplanted; You drove away the nations and planted it. It put forth its foliage to the Sea, its shoots as far as the River.
R. – The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel. Why have You broken down its walls, so that every passer-by plucks its fruit
(The Lord has withdrawn His protection for Israel because the vineyard has not rendered good fruit – that is the people of Israel have abandon their God.), The boar from the forest (the devil) lays it waste, and the beasts of the field feed upon it?
R. The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel. Once again, O LORD of hosts, look down from heaven, and see; take care of this vine, and protect what Your right hand has planted the son of man whom You Yourself made strong.
R. The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel. Then we will no more withdraw from You; give us new life, and we will call upon Your name. O LORD, God of hosts, restore us; if Your face shine upon us, then we shall be saved.
R. The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel.


PAUSE and reflect on how the above speaks to you.



Reading 2.     Philippians 4:6-9                       (Wholesome Thoughts)      

Context – St. Paul founded the church in Philippi (in northern Greece) in 50 AD and this letter was written about ten years later. Philippians is a letter of thanks and encouragement to a congregation of dear friends of Paul. They supported the imprisoned apostle with their prayers and financial assistance. Much of this letter challenges the Philippians to grow in spiritual maturity and imitating both their Savior and their founding apostle. He holds up Jesus Christ as the model of humility and selfless love  and himself as a model of patient endurance.

Today’s Reading – Paul addresses the “worry warts” in the Philippian community.  In times of worry and anxiety, they are exhorted to turn to God in prayer and place their trust in Him. In doing so, they will come to know the “peace that surpasses all understanding.” Then Paul exhorts his readers to live lives patterned after Christ – live righteously. Christian thinking and behavior will open them to the kind of peace that only God can give.


Brothers and sisters: Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true (valid, honest, and reliable), whatever is honorable (worthy of respect), whatever is just (upright), whatever is pure (moral purity), whatever is lovely (amiable, agreeable, or pleasing), whatever is gracious (kind and merciful), if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (This wholesome thinking should encourage and assist us with wholesome conduct, which will lead us to righteousness in the eyes of God.) Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. (We are all called to imitate the saints in what we do and say.) Then the God of Peace will be with you.


PAUSE  and reflect on how the above speaks to you.



Gospel     Matthew 21:33-43                          (The Tenant Farmers)

Context – Matthew’s Gospel, written prior to 70 AD, is the first book of the New Testament, not because it was written first – some of Paul’s epistles take that honor – but because it is a bridge between the Old and New Testaments. His purpose was to  prove to his fellow Jews that Jesus is the One to whom all the Jewish prophets point: the Messiah, the Christ, the King of the Jews. To accomplish his mission He uses more Old Testament quotations and references than any other Gospel.

Today’s Reading – By this parable, our Savior teaches the Jews that the providence of God had wonderfully watched over them from the beginning, that nothing had been omitted to promote their salvation, and that notwithstanding His prophets had been put to most cruel deaths, still the Almighty was not turned away from them, but had at length sent down His only Son, who should suffer at their hands the inexpressible ignominies and tortures of His cross and passion. (From St. Chrysostom)


Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard (Again, the vineyard is representative of God’s chosen people.), 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. (This first part of the parable  reflects our Reading 1.) When vintage time drew near (Time for the harvest, time to rally the faithful.), he sent his servants (the prophets) 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 (Jesus).’ 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 (Jesus was crucified outside the walls of the city.). 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.(It is ironic that the chief priests, who are incriminated by the story, give the harsh answer.) Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes? (Psalm 118:22-23) Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” (This Kingdom is the Church founded on Peter by Jesus. Peter and the apostles are the foundation, Jesus is the cornerstone which keeps the structure from collapsing. Due to the Jews rejection (their unrighteousness), this Church will now be taken to the Gentiles – taken from the unbelieving and given to the faithful.)


PAUSE  and reflect on how the above speaks to you.          St. Augustine remarks, that this parable was addressed not only to the opponents of Christ’s authority, but likewise to the regular Jewish people.



Catechism 755 – The Church is a cultivated field, the tillage of God. On that land the ancient olive tree grows whose holy roots were the prophets and in which the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles has been brought about and will be brought about again. That land, like a choice vineyard, has been planted by the heavenly cultivator. Yet the true vine is Christ who gives life and fruitfulness to the branches, that is, to us, who through the Church remain in Christ, without whom we can do nothing.