Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Jesus we know in the gospel, is usually very kind and gentle. We know him as the good shepherd, we know him as the good samaritan; but sometimes Jesus has a very severe tone. He gives very severe warnings; and we might think, this is not like Jesus, why is he speaking like this? Sometimes gentle reminders are not enough for us, sometimes we need a very clear warning to see the consequences of what we are doing or what we are not doing. This is something very relevant in our lives today; while the majority of people are following the HSE guidelines, we have a few, who are not, and are making life very difficult for all of us. Our daily lives are full of warnings, watch your step, don’t drink and drive, wash your hands, keep your distance, avoid social contacts, wear your mask, etc. Without these warnings, we would not survive very long. The people who are giving these warnings are only trying to help us. When Jesus gives the warning, he wants to save us from a great danger. In the gospel today, we have the workers in the vineyard, who steal the vineyard, they take it from the owner, they kill his messengers and they kill his son. They build their own vineyard, a vineyard of pride, of selfishness and power. We can ask: who are these dishonest workers? At that time in Jerusalem, there was a group of people who had taken control of religion; they used God’s name, they used God’s word, but for their own advantage. They prayed to God in the temple, and they nailed him to a cross outside the walls. They thought they were perfect and the others were sinners. But their lives end in great tragedy. And this is a warning for all of who consider ourselves followers of Jesus; we can be like these people; we can praise God with devotion and prayers and lock him out of our lives. We can be very devout praying our rosary and then strangle our neighbour with our rosary beads. We must pay attention to this parable. Let us remember this week that the people we reject, belittle or look down on, the people we call sinners, they may be the keystones in the building of God’s kingdom. Let us remember that what we reject, belittle or look down on in oursleves, may be the keystones of the kingdom of God in oursleves. The vineyard is not ours. When we come to this awareness, we are really at home there. Then the word of Jesus is no longer a severe warning, but a loving invitation, to go to work with him in his vineyard, and never feel that we are better than someone else. A vineyard where we are the workers, not the owners, and where everybody is welcome.