A HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME-CYCLE”A” -10/5/14
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and Goodness to you this day!
We know from our own nation’s history, that when it comes to labor relations, there have been many valiant struggles for justice and what is right for laborers. We think of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement. We think of the Catholic Cesar Chavez and his standing up for migrant farm workers. And we think of the multiple Papal documents on justice in the work place. And then we come to Mass this weekend and we hear this story, this parable, about these disgruntled workers. And maybe, because we’re reading the Gospel, we might want to assume that these tenant farmers have also been unfairly treated. But let’s look at this situation today. The tenant farmers have freely chosen to stay on this man’s land, to work his fields, in exchange for a percentage of the profits. This percentage has already been negotiated and agreed upon by both sides. They, the workers, have chosen and agreed upon this arraignment. There is no injustice. In fact, it is a pretty good deal where these farmers who have no land, can actually make a living by farming someone else’s land. So if there is no injustice, what is going on here? Well, it’s not good. These tenant farmers have become violent thugs. And why has this happened? It has happened because in their greed, they don’t want their just portion, they want it all. They even want to take the land. They have forgotten who they are and their relationship to the landowner. And their greed leads them to kill the landowner’s representative and his son! And it leads them to seize the land, which doesn’t belong to them, and so they are stealing. This is not a happy parable, is it? Not much uplifting about this one.
And then of course, we remember that this parable is also addressed the chief priests and elders of the Jewish people. Is Jesus really saying that the chief priests and Jewish leadership have become just like these tenant farmers? Well, yes, that’s exactly what Jesus is saying! The Jewish leaders don’t want to work for God any more. They are making themselves little gods and very clearly doing their own thing! They too have killed the messengers that God has sent to them to get them back on track. How many of the great prophets of the Old Testament were murdered for speaking the truth to God’s people? Many of them! And then, we know, that just like the tenant farmers in the parable, that the Jewish leadership is already looking at ways to kill God’s Son, Jesus. And that they will, in fact, do so, on a hill outside of Jerusalem.
So why are we hearing this story? Why today is this parable addressed to all of us? Today more than ever, it is very easy also for us to think that we can be our own god. We don’t need that guy that is in charge of it all and keeps everything going. We can do it on our own! Our greed, our pride, our selfishness all combine to blind us to how good of deal we really have with our God. God has promised us so much! We are very blessed! And yet our desire for more has turned us into people that we really don’t want to be.
We tune out God, and His messengers, and even His Only Son! And then we wonder why the world that we have made has turned out the way that it has? We have done this. This is the world that we have created. Not the one that God has created!
May we let God be God in our lives. He should be in charge, not us. May we trust Him. May we believe in Him. May we give Him the chance to show us His miracles today!
+ May God bless us, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!