Sunday, October 5th, 2014
A Prayer For Today
October 5th, 2014
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Almighty God, I would ask thee that my days be filled with aspiration, and that my heart may know no envy. Help me to love humanity. May I be so glad of the success of others that I may never know what it is to be envious.
Author of Today’s Gospel Reading
St Matthew the Apostle
St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the first Gospel. This has been the constant tradition of the Church and is confirmed by the Gospel itself. He was the son of Alpheus and was called to be an Apostle while sitting in the tax collector’s place at Capernaum. Before his conversion he was a publican, i.e., a tax collector by profession. He is to be identified with the “Levi” of Mark and Luke.
His apostolic activity was at first restricted to the communities of Palestine. Nothing definite is known about his later life. There is a tradition that points to Ethiopia as his field of labor; other traditions mention of Parthia and Persia. It is uncertain whether he died a natural death or received the crown of martyrdom.
St. Matthew’s Gospel was written to fill a sorely felt want for his fellow countrymen, both believers and unbelievers. For the former, it served as a token of his regard and as an encouragement in the trial to come, especially the danger of falling back to Judaism; for the latter, it was designed to convince them that the Messiah had come in the person of Jesus, our Lord, in Whom all the promises of the messianic Kingdom embracing all people had been fulfilled in a spiritual rather than in a carnal way: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” His Gospel, then, answered the question put by the disciples of St. John the Baptist, “Are You He Who is to come, or shall we look for another?”
Writing for his countrymen of Palestine, St. Matthew composed his Gospel in his native Aramaic, the “Hebrew tongue” mentioned in the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. Soon afterward, about the time of the persecution of Herod Agrippa I in 42 AD, he took his departure for other lands. Another tradition places the composition of his Gospel either between the time of this departure and the Council of Jerusalem, i.e., between 42 AD and 50 AD or even later. Definitely, however, the Gospel, depicting the Holy City with its altar and temple as still existing, and without any reference to the fulfillment of our Lord’s prophecy, shows that it was written before the destruction of the city by the Romans in 70 AD, and this internal evidence confirms the early traditions.
Our Old Testament Reading
Isaiah 5:1-7 NJB
Let me sing my beloved the song of my friend for his vineyard. My beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hillside.
He dug it, cleared it of stones, and planted it with red grapes. In the middle he built a tower, he hewed a press there too. He expected it to yield fine grapes: wild grapes were all it yielded.
And now, citizens of Jerusalem and people of Judah, I ask you to judge between me and my vineyard.
What more could I have done for my vineyard that I have not done? Why, when I expected it to yield fine grapes, has it yielded wild ones?
Very well, I shall tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I shall take away its hedge, for it to be grazed on, and knock down its wall, for it to be trampled on.
I shall let it go to waste, unpruned, undug, overgrown by brambles and thorn-bushes, and I shall command the clouds to rain no rain on it.
Now, the vineyard of Yahweh Sabaoth is the House of Israel, and the people of Judah the plant he cherished. He expected fair judgement, but found injustice, uprightness, but found cries of distress.
Our New Testament Reading
Matthew 21:33-43 NJB
The Parable of the Tenants
‘Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad.
When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce.
But the tenants seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third.
Next he sent some more servants, this time a larger number, and they dealt with them in the same way.
Finally he sent his son to them thinking, “They will respect my son.”
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance.”
So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’
They answered, ‘He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him at the proper time.’
Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this is the Lord’s doing and we marvel at it?
‘I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.’
Hymn For Today
All Things Bright And Beautiful
Music video by Bill & Gloria Gaither
Author: Cecil F. Alexander
Thanks Be To God!
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