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Sunday, October 8, 2017

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27th Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 5:1-7
Philippians 4:6-9
Psalm 80:9, 12-16, 19-20
Matthew 21:33-43

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born to be wild?

"Why...did it bring forth wild grapes?" —Isaiah 5:4

God took perfect care of His vineyard, the house of Israel (Is 5:1ff). With a perfect Gardener and perfect care, you would expect the vineyard to produce domesticated, fruitful grapes. No one would logically expect wild grapes to be produced. For this to happen, the domesticated grapevines that were planted and cultivated would seemingly need to have new DNA, that of wild grapes, and that is what resulted.

Therefore, God told the people of Israel, and us also, that if they want to change their nature to be wild, He would let them live in a condition which fits their desire for wildness. Thus, the Lord tore down the walls which protected the vineyard, allowing wild conditions, wild plants, and wild animals to invade (Is 5:5-6). Perhaps then the Israelites, and us as well, would come to their senses (see Lk 15:17ff) and return to the Lord. Perhaps the wild grapes would learn from the merciless effects of wild living and humbly return to their domesticated, fruitful nature that comes with being a child of God.

When Jesus proclaimed the parable of the vineyard in today's Gospel reading, those who heard understood Jesus' message all too clearly. It was not that they couldn't understand Jesus; it was that most of those who heard Him rejected His message, rejected God and His protection, and chose wildness and separation from Him.

The message is clear. God's plan is to bring us into His family so we'll bear good fruit. Repent of any desire to "run wild" and rebel against the Lord (Ex 32:25).

Prayer:  Father, do in me whatever it takes in order to do through me whatever You will.

Promise:  "Then God's own peace, which is beyond all understanding, will stand guard over your hearts and minds." —Phil 4:7

Praise:  Praise You, Jesus, "my Lord and my God!" (Jn 20:28)

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 12, 2017

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