I find it apropos that we hear in the readings today about vineyard and I will be at a vineyard at a wedding. So we begin in Isaiah and hear from the first part of the book about a vineyard, this is often call the “song of the vineyard” as it is written in as a ballad or love song. In the reading we hear Isaiah tell us of a vineyard which we will again see in the Gospel reading today. “My friend’s vineyard is on a fertile hillside, with a watchtower and a hewed out wine press. Now when the wines produced grapes they were wild grapes and the people in Jerusalem and Judah judge him for this.” Now in the reading Isaiah is telling us of his friend the Lord who’s vineyard, the Jewish People, are not all that cracked up to be. Later on the friend tears up the vineyard and let it go to ruin. The Lord has given us everything and The Lord expects some reciprocation for this.
We next turn to the Letter from Paul to the Philippians; we’ve skipped a couple of chapters from last week and are now in the final chapter. Paul says don’t worry, but trust in the Lord and things should turn out right. He goes on to say that we should remember what we have learned and heard from him for then the God of peace will be with us. Now Paul‘s letter is interesting since he deals with the same thing the vineyard owner does in the first reading, He is writing to a community that he has already established and is disappointed in the state of things since he left so he writes saying not to worry about everything and to remember the example that he showed them. We can’t remember the actions of Paul when he was living but we can look to the Saints and other holy people living today as examples.
Finally we arrive at the Gospel, Jesus tells us another parable. A landowner had a vineyard much like the one from the first reading. The landowner leased the land to tenants to tend to the vines while he was gone. At the harvest the landowner sent a group of servant to collect his share but the tenants beat and killed all of them. When nothing had come the landowner then sent his son to collect his share and soon there after the tenants seized and killed the son, hoping to gain some of the son’s inheritance. Jesus then poses a question what will the landowner do to the tenants? The scribes answered that the land owner would throw out the tenants and get some who will give produce at the proper time. Then Jesus says to them “the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people that will produce fruit.” Now this is pretty clear to understand and ties back to the first reading the landowner is the Lord, the prophets are the slaves, Jesus is the son, and mankind is the tenants. We need to do something with the gifts, time and talents that we have been given, that is the big thing in the readings today.