Commentary for Sunday: 8th October

Matthew 21, 33-43

Sunday, October 8th, 2023 (27 OT A)


Jesus said to the priests and the elders of the people, “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, surrounded it with a fence, dug a winepress in it, built a gatehouse, rented it to tenant farmers, and went on a journey. When harvest time came, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect the produce he was entitled to. But the tenants seized the servants and beat one of them, killed another, and stoned another…”.

These are the days before the Passion, and the confrontations between Jesus and the religious authorities of Israel, the Chosen People, continue and will end with the death of Jesus.  Jesus says in the parable that the workers not only do not hand over to the owner the benefits that are due to him, but that they mistreat and beat his envoys and kill the son in order to keep the vineyard for themselves. The religious authorities knew the Scriptures (1st reading, from Isaiah), but they do not take the matter lying down. They continue to think they are the good guys, the dutiful ones. And when Jesus asks them what to do with these labourers, they give the answer. And Jesus rebukes them: “the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who produce its fruits”.

When we read the parable, “unconsciously” we “stay outside”, as if it does not apply to us. But this is very comfortable. The message and the reproach also go for us. The Church is also the Lord’s vineyard and we are all workers in it (last Sunday). Each of us has been given gifts in our lives, which must bear the fruits that correspond to them. What harvest can the Lord expect from us? Will he have to complain about poor fruits?  In the first reading we are told: “I expected righteousness and you gave violence, justice and I hear only lamentation”. Our fruits must be in line with charity and justice.


Juan Ramón Gómez Pascual, cmf

What harvest can the Lord expect from you?


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