Homily for the twenty-seventh Sunday of the year - Year A - Mt. 21:33-43
 
 
by
 
Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
 
 
 
" «Hear another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country. When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them. Afterward he sent his son to them, saying, "They will respect my son." But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, "This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance." And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?» They said to him, «He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.»
 
" Jesus said to them, «Have you never read in the scriptures: "The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes" (Ps. 117:22-23)? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.» "
 
 
 
Homily:
 
 
" «Hear another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country.» "
 
Like last week's parable, today's has to do with the new Israel of God, which is the Church. This parable was told by Jesus around Holy Tuesday, or about two days before the institution of the Holy Eucharist, the sacrament of the New Covenant in the Blood of Christ! So it is not without reason that Jesus speaks of the vineyard, the vineyard of his Father, that which produces the wine that Jesus would soon drink, with his Father, who is in Heaven! "I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." (Mt. 26:29; cf. Lk. 22:18)
 
The owner of the vineyard, in the parable, greatly desires to come into possession of the fruits of his vineyard. He sends several servants; and finally his own son. No one succeeds in bringing to the owner the famous fruits of the vineyard: the wine. For it is indeed wine: everything indicates that it is so, and in particular the wine press. But this wine has a peculiar scent, one that is somewhat unpleasant: this wine smells of blood! For in order to get even a single drop of it, the owner had to sacrifice the life of his own son! So it is through the blood of his son, and certainly not without this blood, that the owner, the father of this beloved son, would one day be able, for the first time, to taste the fruits of his vineyard!
 
" «When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?' They said to him, 'He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.» "
 
According to the reply of Jesus' interlocutors, the owner of the vineyard would send, after his son, other tenants, who would finally bring him, for the first time, the fruits of his vineyard: that long-awaited wine... But to the owner, this wine could not fail to have a bitter taste, due to the scent of his son's blood that would be ever-present to his nostrils... So what will the owner of the vineyard do? Would he decide to not drink the wine that had cost him so much? No, of course not. The owner would remember his son, and, instead of seeing the face of the new tenants, he would see in them the face of his son! Truly, these new tenants, those of the New Testament in the Blood of the Son of God, will have a new face, and thus a new name also, thanks to the wine that they bring, thanks to the Holy Spirit who inebriates their heart and transforms them into faithful servants of the eternal Father!
 
" Jesus said to them, «Have you never read in the scriptures: "The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes" (Ps. 117:22-23)? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.» "
 
Let us thank the Lord for having called us into his service! Jesus is the cornerstone of the building, the Church. With Simon-Peter, we are living stones (cf. 1 Peter 2:5) in this building: we are similar to Christ Jesus, for the Glory of the Father, in the Holy Spirit!
 
Like Mary, and with Her, let us serve the Lord in the joy of being, forever, the new Israel of God!
 

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