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常年期第27主日 HOMILY 27th Sunday OT A October 08, 2023

Homily - Sunday of 27th Week of Ordinary Time (Year A)Isaiah 5:1-7  Psalm 80  Philippians 4:6-9  Matthew 21:33-43

Fr. Michael Agliardo


As some of you know, I am a Jesuit, that is, a member of the group of priests and brothers also known as the Society of Jesus.One of my brother Jesuits runs a publishing company, Ignatius Press.And they have a retreat house on a vineyard in Sonoma.My brother Jesuit proudly brings their wines to our dinners.And they are not bad. We all know how much work is involved in tending a vineyard, so we are sure to thank him.Indeed, anyone who has been to Napa and Sonoma can appreciate the joy that a well-tended vineyard brings - the beautiful fields, the sweet smell in the air at harvest time, and the delicious wine that it produces.I am sure that we can all appreciate today’s readings, as well.The theme of the farmer who tends his vineyard runs throughout.The farmer is God. The vineyard is God’s people.And the concerns is that despite all that God has done, the vineyard is in disarray. In the reading from Isaiah, the prophet speaks of a vineyard that produces wild grapes. He goes on to explain:The vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel,and the people of Judah are his cherished plant.He looked for judgment, but see, there is bloodshed!He looked for justice, but hark, there is an outcry!


God brought the people of Israel out of Egypt and gave them his law for a reason:He wanted Israel to be an example of justice for all nations.In Isaiah’s day, Israel had failed to achieve the purpose that God set forth. Jesus tells a similar story, but one with a different twist.The landowner entrusted his vineyard to laborers. However, when the time came to hand over the harvest, they refused.They did not give the landowner the yield to which He was entitled. Instead, they mistreated his servants and killed his Son.In our Gospel, we also see another passage and another metaphor:The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes.What we have here is a “sandwich” - a literary technique in which a smaller passage is inserted within a larger one.The smaller passage concerns building, and the larger one concerns the vineyard.Each passage sheds light on and amplifies the other.First, we have a story of the Son of the landowner being killed,and then the prediction that the stone that was rejected will become the cornerstone of a new edifice.So let us step back and reflect on what we learn from these readings.Some have argued that these readings show how Israel failed, and therefore it was necessary for the new Christian community to takeover in their place. 


However, given the many ways in which we have all experienced failure, I think that the temptation to be self-righteous is the first thing we want to avoid.Indeed, we should remember who preserved the criticisms that Isaiah made of Israel. Israel preserved those criticisms in order to grow in its fidelity to God.Though the people and especially the leaders of Israel did fail, they also accepted God’s invitation to return and to persevere. That is why Israel became the community that nurtured Jesus, the Messiah who would bring God’s message of hope to all people.Through the Messiah - the Christ - God’s plan that Israel would be an example of his justice to all nations was fulfilled.[in sum] We all fail. But do we all manifest the integrity of Israel? Do we admit our failings and return to God? Do we rededicate ourselves to justice and the mission that God puts before us?A second point to note concerns the way the sandwich technique adds hope to the story that Jesus told of the wayward vineyard laborers.The stone that the builders rejected will become the cornerstone!The brief passage cited by Jesus reminds us of God’s remarkable ability to transform failure into new hope and new opportunity. This is a very important lesson. Human history is full of failures. We can see failures in our own lives and in our families.We can see failures in our communities, in our nation, and in the international arena.We also see failures in our Church.


God sees us and our world for what it is, and he loves us nonetheless.In his compassion, God has placed hope in the middle of human history.That hope has a name, and that name is “Jesus”.Jesus became the cornerstone of new possibilities for Israel, and in his day, his Jewish followers took up that possibility.Then they invited in the Gentiles to share in that hope. As a result, the Church they founded now extends to all humanity.Indeed, last month, we saw the Pope visit Mongolia, where a new Catholic community is being born. So let us reflect on our own lives and on our Church community:As a Church, we have many failures, divisions, and shortcomings.We are very saddened by these shortcomings, but we should see them as an opportunity to grow and to serve with greater integrity.In our own lives, each of us has suffered setbacks.At the same time, if we are honest, we also recognize that sometimes these setbacks are not just the result of bad luck or the attacks of others. We also take responsibility for them, just as Israel did.Both as individuals and as a community, we must see the challenges in our lives for what they are: They are an opportunity to renew our commitment to the Gospel. They are an opportunity to place our trust in the one who takes the stone rejected by the builders and makes it the cornerstone of a new edifice. 





常年期 (甲年) 第二十七主日 (10/08/2023)
Fr. Michael 艾神父主日證道中譯本

讀經一: 依撒意亞先知書 5:1-7
讀經二: 聖保祿宗徒致斐理伯人書 4:6-9
聖瑪竇福音 21:33-43
的確,任何去過納帕和索諾瑪的人都能體會到精心照料葡萄園所帶來的快樂 -- 美麗的田野、在收穫季節時空氣中揚溢著教人陶醉的香甜氣味以及葡萄釀成的美酒。我想我們也能同樣地欣賞今天的經文。




然而,我們在許多方面都確曾經歷過失敗,但我認為首先應避免的,是不要讓自以為是及其推論誘導我們達到某些結論。事實上,我們應該記住是誰保存了依撒意亞對以色列人的批判?答案是以色列人。是以色列人保存了這些批判,為的是要強化對天主的忠誠。儘管以色列人,特別是以色列的領導人確實是失喪了,但他們也接受了天主的邀請,改正並不屈不撓地堅持下去。這就是以色列如何成為培育耶穌話語的社區,並把它們發揚光大。耶穌是默西亞,祂將上主希望的信息帶給所有人。透過默西亞 -- 基督 -- 上主的計劃得以實現,以色列成為祂對萬國公義的典範。
第二點要注意的是,"三明治"這個文學寫作方式,如何為耶穌所講述,關於任意妄為的葡萄園佃戶的故事增添了希望 --  匠人棄而不用的石頭,反而成為屋角的基石!耶穌引用這段簡短的經文提醒我們,天主有非凡的能力,可以將失敗轉化為新的希望和新的機會。




  • 這些挑戰提供了機會,讓我們更新對福音的承諾。
  • 這些挑戰提供了機會,讓我們信靠那位把匠人棄置不用的石頭變成新建築物基石的真神