October 4, 2020 – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Opening the door of our lives, to allow God’s Mercy and Goodness to come into us!”

(Based on Isa 5:1-7, Phil 4:6-9 and Mt 21:33-43 – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

There is an interesting observation that can be made from the movie, “Passion of Christ” directed by Mel Gibson.

The movie tries to give a possible explanation as to why the Good Thief, hanging beside Jesus on the Cross, repented.

The Gospels remain silent though…

The Good Thief had been watching Jesus for a long time…

He was taken up by the serene patience and silent determination of Jesus.

With this build up, when he heard that Jesus, in the midst of his horrible agony, forgave His persecutors – – “Father, forgive them! They know not, what they are doing” – his heart opened up to God’s grace

That heroic, unimaginable act of forgiveness – after all that Jesus had suffered – powdered all his doubts about God’s Goodness, Wisdom, and Power.

He realized that God loves and forgives to the very end, without limits.

And so, without waiting or doubting or needlessly wrestling with his own unworthiness, he confidently entrusted his eternal salvation into Christ’s hands, “Remember me, Lord when you come into your Kingdom!”

It’s fascinating to note that in the film, Jesus actually says the line that converts the Good Thief (“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do…”) twice: once from the cross, and once while they were nailing Him to the Cross.

When the director of the movie was asked, why he had Jesus saying it twice when the Gospels mention it only once, he answered, “I thought that Jesus was probably saying it… the whole time.”

Yes, God’s mercy and goodness is ready to come into our lives, always…
… We just have to open the door!

The Gospel of the Day – the parable of the tenants in the vineyard – is a strong invitation to repentance, turning back to God’s mercy and reviving our commitment to responsibilities!

This parable of the tenants in the Vineyard has its resonant tunes with another parable told centuries ago…
… the Parable of the Vineyard Song… found in Chapter 5 of the Book of Isaiah (First Reading)

Both these readings have many things strikingly similar… one among them being that…
… God never gives up on His people!
… God constantly informs, invites and inspires people towards His Love!

The Patience of God is amazing!
The Mercy of God is fathomless!
The Love of God is incomparable!

God never gives up, on His people!

In the Gospel, when the tenants failed to send the produce, the owner of the Vineyard (God Himself) sends umpteen opportunities to make room for repentance.

The Owner could have destroyed the tenants in the first instance…

The Owner could have forcibly got his produce after the first incident…

But the Owner has a kind and a merciful heart!

He forgives… and forgives… and forgives…
… inviting constantly for a renewal and revival!

Today, let us examine the vineyard of our lives…

Do I guard, nurture and cultivate the various gifts and graces that God has showered in the Vineyard of my Life?

Do I repent and repair my faults and actions, and seek to be a person who can produce worthy fruits, as per the graces showered on me?

Do I oppose, resist, denounce, detest or even terrorize people who work and spread the Gospel of God?

Let us also never forget that it’s not enough to receive mercy…
… we also have a duty and obligation, once we receive the mercy of the Lord

This duty is a life of holiness!
Yes, “the duty of receiving mercy, is living in holiness!”

Failing to respond to this duty of mercy puts also in danger of the judgment of the Lord, as we are told by Prophet Isaiah:
“What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?

And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured;
I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.
I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it!” (Is 5:4-6)

St Paul reminds us of the nobility of life – graced in mercy – that each of us are called to: “Have no anxiety about anything…
… but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus!” (Phil 4:6-7)

We are called to respond positively to the strong invitation by the Lord…
… to repentance
… to turn back to His mercy
… to revive our commitment to responsibilities!

The Lord is a fountain of mercy, and He awaits the return of each one of us.

The Good Thief on the Cross experienced this torrent of Love and Grace.
The Lord today calls us too…

Yes, God’s mercy and goodness is ready to come into our lives, always…
… We just have to open the door!

Shall we open the door?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Our misery is the throne of God’s mercy!”

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