In Partnership with

St Agatha’s Parish

North William Street, Dublin D01N7F6

St Laurence O’Toole Parish

Seville Place, North Wall, Dublin D01KN73

8th October 2023. Twenty Seventh Sunday in ordinary Time. THE FERTILE VINEYARD IS THE CHURCH OWNED BY GOD

Today’s Gospel theme (Matt 21:33-43) is all about obedience to the divine will of God. Jesus compares us like tenants leasing a Vineyard. The vineyard represents the Church and our bodies. We are the vines planted in the rich soil of faith. God expects us to produce fruits of love, mercy. Obedience, purity, gospel truths, holiness and good works (Phil 4:6-9). Sadly, many Christians respond by producing the sour grapes of disloyalty, disobedience, infidelity, and rebellion (Is 5:1-7). The Landowner represents the Triune God. The owner going abroad represents Jesus’ ascension into Heaven, who will return at His Second Coming, to hold us accountable on how we treated His Church and our bodies. As tenants, we are entrusted with the responsibility to carry out the sanctifying work of redemption, under God’s Command. We pray for the Synod in Rome that the hierarchy and laity involved will be responsible tenants. We should not hijack the Church, mistakenly thinking that we own it.
Everybody is called to cultivate the faith in their families. Many parents promise to do this at their children’s baptism, but ignore to do so throughout the child’s life. Practicing and exercising our faith keeps our bodies free from sin. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the winepress in the centre of the vineyard. It symbolises the Passion of Jesus, recalling how He emptied Himself out, like a grape in a wine press, shedding His Blood for us, in order to produce the New Eternal Covenant (Marriage) with Him on earth. Jesus is the Covenant through the Resurrection from the dead. This Holy Communion will continue for eternity, to all those who are faithful to Him. God has created fertile ground and cleared away all obstructing stones (Is 5:1-7), meaning that He has cleared our hearts and souls from the mark of Original Sin in baptism. Our hearts and souls, become infertile through sin, if we live in direct disobedience to God’s Divine Will and Teachings. We have to understand that Jesus, only allows admittance into Heaven, to those who produce fruits of obedience to His Word while living on earth. Those who have already killed His Word, when the season arrives (Judgement Day), are imitating the disobedient tenants in the Gospel, who were brought to a wretched end (Hell).
Jesus brought and bought us back from the death grip of the devil, by giving up His life, in order for us to have New Life of holiness. We must not let any part of our body turn into an unholy weapon fighting on the side of sin (Rom 6:12-18). Our bodies are always to give glory to God. Our obedience to God now will produce an eternal harvest of eternal life beyond the grave. To live a life of self-service, instead of a life of divine-service, places our tenancy in mortal danger and removes our inheritance rights to claim Eternal Life someday. Sinning makes us no better than the tenants who killed the Son. It is never too late to come to one’s senses and repent, asking for God’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Confession. God bless, Fr. Brendan.