????Isa 5:1-7; Psalm 80:8 and 11, 12-13, 14-15 and 17b, 18-19(R. Isa 5:7a); Phil 4:6-9; Matt 21:33-43

My dear, the end is becoming even more imminent, and the reality of accountability at the end is being more emphasized in our readings at this period. May God grant us the wisdom to always take all these messages seriously to avoid being taken unawares in the end. Amen.

Today, the theme of the vineyard flows through the Readings and two important issues stare at us from them:
????How do we accept the word of God?
????How do we manage the opportunities we are given as messengers of the Word?

In the First Reading, God did a lot to make Israel take him as their Lord, to the extent that he could enter into dialogue with them even when they were really guilty. That shows how patiently God follows us, in the hope that we might change and come back to him. Imagine the frustration of seeing a fruitless effort. But God cannot be frustrated; it is we who rather lose when we fail to come back to him. The Gospel makes that point clearly with the end of the wicked tenants.

However, there is something very serious that we must not overlook in that Gospel. Jesus was referring to the chief priests and the Pharisees as the wicked tenants (cf. Matt 21:45). Their fault is that they do not want to embrace the Kingdom of God nor allow others to enter (cf. Matt 23:13-14). If Jesus were to come in our time, would he not have said same thing about some of us priests and ministers of the word who treat the word of God with levity.

How often do I obey Jesus’ command to me to go into the world and evangelize (Matt 28:19-20)? Am I in the category of those who chose to remain inactive in the ministry under the guise that the work of God cannot be finished in a day or by one person?

As a lay person, do you contribute to the propagation of the gospel or do you even join the category of those would always lead people to oppose the effort of the ministers of the Gospel in your place of worship?

It is about the end time. Let us change our disposition towards the word and work of God for the better. When we follow God faithfully, we are sure that he would always be with us to grant us the desired and genuine peace (Phil 4:6-9). May that peace of Christ follow you today and everyday of your life. Amen.

I know that you might want to appreciate me at the end of this message but I want to encourage you to do more than that; “Today that you heard his voice, harden not your heart!” (Ps 94:7-8).

I wish you a grace-filled and peaceful Sunday. Peace be with you.

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