Homily Twenty-seventh Sunday Year A Right relationship with God

By 11:23 AM

 

Homily: Twenty-seventh Sunday Year A

 

Reading 1: The relationship between God and the Chosen People of Israel. God gave Israel the land of promise, provided for its needs, protected them from their enemies, established a covenant with them. What did the people do in turn? They broke the covenant, while expecting God to be faithful. They acted unjustly towards one another, but expected God to show compassion and mercy to them.

 

Instead of the fruit of love, there was violence and bloodshed. Instead of a heart relationship with God, they gave lip service. They trusted in others rather than God. Instead of the fruit of friendship and obedience, right relationship and respect, they only produced the sour grapes of rebellion, hardness of heart, a double standard, trusting in political alliances rather than in the covenant. What was the consequences of their actions? Their enemies overcame them; they were exiled; they lost their inheritance promised them.

 

What is our reality as a nation? We began as a nation under God, recognizing the Ten Commandments as the foundation of our own laws, seeking what is right and just. Now, God is taken out of the public sector and even attack in the private conscience of the individual. We have double standards. We are not guided by the Ten Commandments or the natural Law, but human laws are enacted justifying attack on the fundamental rights of individuals to life, liberty and happiness.

 

Gospel: Jesus expands on the parable of Isaiah. Jesus uses the same example of a vineyard to show things had not changed even in his own day. The vineyard is the People of God from whom God is looking for a response to his generous blessings. Prophet after prophet had been sent. The religious leaders rejected them. God then sent his Son with the same prophetic message: repentance and salvation. But Jesus indicates they will kill even the Son.

 

Not knowing that Jesus was applying this parable to the religious leaders of his day, they foretold their own end. Isaiah said that God would let his vineyard be overgrown. What does Jesus say to his contemporaries?  They knew the truth but failed to see themselves as the ones who continue to reject the message of God.  As a result, God will make a new covenant with a new people.

 

Look what God has done for us over the short time of this country. Look how we have responded. God is not looking for just a minimal response, but a response of sincere acknowledgment and gratitude. God knows we can’t equate his many blessings, just as a child can’t equate what the parents have done. There is a difference between the response from the heart that is true and a mere external response that is given half-heartedly.

 

Reading 2: This brings us back to the real focus: God and our relationship with him. There is much anxiety today in the world and in the lives of people. Fear from the pandemic. Loss of jobs and economic difficulties. Rising cost of living. Threat of violence and terrorism. Political infighting. Rising tensions between races. Conflict globally.

 

What is Paul’s answer?  “Have no anxiety, but pray with thanksgiving.”  Look for his peace and his ways. In this way, in the end, not only will we have the peace of God but the God of peace will be with us.

 

In place of anxiety, think about what is true, honorable, just, pure and lovely.  Anxiety will only breathe fear and distress. Thinking about what is God’s will and being in his will brings about a sense of peace and his providential care and love.

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