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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 08.10.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 08.10.2023

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ISAIAH 5: 1 – 7

Let me sing for my beloved a love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, I beg you, between me and my vineyard. 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. For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, a cry!

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 80: 8, 11 – 15, 17b, 18 – 19 (R.) Isaiah 5 : 7a

R/. The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel.

You brought a vine out of Egypt;
You drove out the nations and planted it.
It stretched out its branches to the sea;
To the River it stretched out its shoots. R.

Then why have you broken down its walls?
It is plucked by all who pass by the way.
It is ravaged by the boar of the forest,
Devoured by the beasts of the field. R.

God of hosts, turn again, we implore;
look down from heaven and see.
Visit this vine and protect it,
the vine your right hand has planted,
the son of man you have claimed for yourself. R.

And we shall never forsake you again;
give us life that we may call upon your name.
O Lord God of hosts, bring us back;
Let your face shine forth, and we shall be saved. R.

SECOND READING
This do and the God of peace will be with you.
PHILIPPIANS 4: 6 – 9

Brethren: 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. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.

The Word of the Lord.

ALLELUIA
John 15:16

Alleluia.
I chose you from the world that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, says the Lord.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
He leased the vineyard to other tenants.
MATTHEW 21: 33 – 43

At that time: Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people, “Hear another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his ‘servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them. “Afterwards he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The very stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.

The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: A Cornerstone of Grace
October 8, 2023

Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes? Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” (Matthew 21:42–43)

The most amazing thing that has ever happened in this world is the death of the Son of God. It is amazing for many reasons. It’s amazing that God the Father allowed His Son to be brutally murdered by evil men. It’s amazing that the Son did not call upon the myriad of angels to stop His persecution. It’s amazing that Jesus spoke words of forgiveness from the Cross as His own mother looked on. But perhaps the most amazing aspect about this event is that from it, the gift of eternal salvation was made possible.

Only God, in His inconceivable wisdom and power, could bring forth the greatest good from the greatest evil. Nothing could be more evil than the brutal murder of the Son of God. And nothing could be more glorious than the transformation of that heinous act into the definitive act of salvation for the human race. Jesus was “the stone rejected by the builders.” But that rejected Stone was used by the Father to “become the cornerstone” of the new life of grace to which we are called.

The passage quoted above concludes the Parable of the Tenants, which outlines salvation history. The Father is the owner of the vineyard, which represents the people of Israel. The tenants were the religious leaders of the time who abused the prophets who were sent to gather the fruit of God’s Kingdom. The son is the Son of God whom the leaders of Israel killed under the misconception that killing Jesus would guarantee the continuation of their power. However, the true result was that they suffered their own destruction, and the murdered Son became the cornerstone of the Church and the source of new life.

Today, you are among the people to whom God has given charge of His new Vineyard, the Church. Of you, God demands an abundance of good fruit. Though the Church is entrusted to the pope, bishops and priests in a special way, it is also entrusted to the laity, each in their own way. Everyone must bear fruit for the Kingdom of God, and everyone will be held accountable for their stewardship.

Sometimes we can fall into the trap of thinking that we have little to offer. If we were the pope, a bishop or even a priest, we could do great things for God. And though that is true, it is no less true that everyone is capable of bearing an abundance of good fruit for the Kingdom. And God expects that of us all. If you doubt that fact in any way, recall again the undeniable fact that the Father used the greatest evil ever committed to bring forth the greatest good ever known. If God can bring forth new life from death, then He can certainly use you in powerful ways. In fact, the weaker you are and the more insignificant you feel, the more God can use you to produce good fruit.

Reflect, today, upon the glorious fact that if God can use his own suffering and death to bring salvation to the world, He can also use you in ways that are beyond your imagination. You might not become a famous evangelist. You might not succeed in some well-recognized ministry. In fact, you might even encounter much suffering, persecution, and hardship throughout life. Regardless of your own life situation, God desires to use you for great things and to bear an abundance of good fruit for His Kingdom. Commit to that mission, and allow God to use you as a cornerstone of His grace in this world.

PRAYER:
My Lord and Cornerstone of the Church, You were rejected by the leaders of Israel and were killed in the most horrific way. Yet in Your glorious power, You transformed that evil into the greatest good. I give to You my weaknesses and pains, my talents and labors; I give to You my entire life. Please use me and help me to share in Your life so that, with You, I may also become a cornerstone of Your grace as You desire. Jesus, I trust in You.

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