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Scripture Reflection - October 8, 2023

27th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Is 5:1-7 | Phil 4:6-9 | Mt 21:33-43

Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York Scripture Reflection

The Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.

If you like watching violence played out in the media and reading crime novels, today’s readings will hold your interest. Starting with Isaiah, we are requested to hear a song written by a friend that exemplifies the blues or a country western lyric of broken relationships. These songs are popular because, like this failed vineyard story, people relate to personal experiences or failures in the lives of those known to them.

In the first reading, the sower uses the best raw materials, but crop failure results. There is no second chance provided for here, as the land is neglected with resulting thorns and briers creating a wasteland compounded by drought.

The moral of this story is brought to light when realizing that Isaiah is not about wild grapes but the people of Judah who saw bloodshed and injustice witnessed in the culmination of Christ’s life on earth.

The New Testament version of a failed vineyard is the occasion of human violence rather than that of nature. The landowner fails to reap an abundant crop because those sent to deliver the produce are murdered by vengeful laborers.

Today, the world experiences both readings as examples of nature’s destructive forces as well as human causes. Our rock and hard place position is now evidenced by the causes of climate change and having to admit that humans are the source of crop failure, resulting in the inability to live off the land and the overfished seas.

We rely on God’s created world for our very sustenance and are called today to ponder as never before these readings that the church provides. We don’t know why the first planter grew wild grapes from quality seeds, and it is difficult to figure out why Jesus had to end his human life as he did, but we are told it was done that way to save us.

Think about:

Do I realize the crisis the planet is in as energies are spent on outer space travel and artificial intelligence?

Can these readings be a wake-up call for Catholics to actually do something to make Laudato Si a movement to save the world?

Is my lifestyle saving or destroying the planet?

Is this first sentence above a prophecy?

Sr. Dorothy Maxwell, OP


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