The 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Isaiah 5: 1 – 7; Ps 80; Phil 4: 6 – 9; Matthew 21: 33 – 43)
On Palm Sunday and Good Friday, the Gospel is introduced as “The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ” and we are graced to hear the redeeming suffering of the Lord – the total gift of Himself in total obedience to His Father. The word “passion” taken from the latin literally means “suffering” but it can also be deﬁned as “zeal, ardor, fervor” and so the passion proclaims the love of our Lord – divine, eternal, passionate – the reality is far beyond our comprehension and although, at times, we experience something of it, to experience this passion in all its fullness is reserved for eternity.
Today’s Gospel, the parable of the vineyard – which would have immediately brought to mind the words of Isaiah that we heard – this parable of Jesus might raise a question for us – what was Jesus about, what was behind this parable? I believe that we know He was trying to stir up their hearts, their faith, the minds of His hearers. They were good people, earnest believers, these chief priests and elders but held and were held by a very rigid, legalistic Judaism. Their lives were conﬁned by rules, precepts all day. They knew they were the Lord’s vineyard but the vineyard was sadly missing something besides being overgrown and constricted.
In hearing Jesus’ words and beyond these words they were experiencing His passion for them. He was revealing the love of the Father and the Spirit – perhaps, some experienced a movement within, perhaps, not – nevertheless with desire, with passion Jesus exposed Himself freely to their hearing – whether that hearing led them to belief or ridicule or to such hatred that it would lead to His death – and we know it did.
All that is history, sacred history – our history as God’s people.
What about us here and now? We gather in this church drawn by God’s grace, His passionate love to worship, to celebrate the redeeming love of the Lord Jesus made present for us in this holy Mass. We are clearly reminded that we are not spectators to a ritual but taken up into this passionate, redeeming love by our reception of the Lord Himself in the Most Holy Eucharist. He comes to us, into us to stir us up, to draw us on so to seek to know Him more