Jesus tells a simple parable in this Sunday’s gospel but, in fact, it is a summary of the whole Old Testament. First of all, when we read the Old Testament, we notice that there is a cycle. When the people lived a good life, God blessed them. But unfortunately, after a while they began to degenerate and worship the gods of other nations. Then, in order to make them repent and return to Him, God punished them. When this happened, they asked God for mercy and, again, begin a good life. However, after some time, they begin to sin again and the cycle repeated itself.

We see this process summarized in today’s gospel. The owner of the vineyard represents God. He took great care to plant a vineyard –Israel – to nurture and to protect it. Then he leased it out to tenant farmers. After the owner went on a journey, they began to degenerate, like the Jewish people of the Old Testament times. They abused the servants that the master sent to obtain his share of the grapes. They even killed the master’s son. The master’s son, of course, represents Jesus, while the tenants can be seen as the religious leaders of his time. As He did in Old Testament times when the people rejected the men and women He sent to them, God will punish them for rejecting Jesus. Then He will replace them with people who will yield a rich harvest, that is, Jews as well as Gentiles who come to believe and accept Him.

We notice that the master is very patient. When the tenants abused his servants, he did not immediately punish them. Rather, he sent them saints and prophets to persuade them to live a good life. It was only when, after many years, they refused to change that God punished them. This tells us, of course, that God is very patient. As He did with the Jewish people in former times, He blesses us over and over. But He also wants us to produce fruit, that is, to lead a good life. We must not put off the effort to improve our life. The time to change what needs to be changed is NOW.

#12 A JOKE FROM ST. JOE: Catechist: “If you die being good, where will you go?” Pupil: “To Heaven!” Catechist: “If you don’t behave, where will you go?” Pupil: “Straight upstairs to my room without dinner.” That’s right. My dear children always behave in class and in the Church.

In this second Sunday of October, there are only optional memorials of many saints namely; St. Denis and Companions, all martyrs, and St. John Leonardi, priest and founder of the Congregation of Clerics Regular of the Mother of God (O.M.D.) on the 9th; St. John XXIII, Pope’s memorial is celebrated on the 11th; and on the 14th it is memorial of St. Callistus I Pope and Martyr. On the 10th till 20th

I will be on a pilgrimage to the 100th Anniversary of Apparitions “Our Lady of Fatima”. Please pray for our safe trip. Fr. Rey Clutario and I will be together on this trip with our 82 pilgrims from many parishes of the diocese. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin. God bless!

Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,

Fr. Reggie