Saturday, October 01, 2005



OCTOBER 2, 2005

ISAIAH 5:1-7
Let me now sing of my friend, my friend's song concerning his vineyard.
My friend had a vineyard on a fertile hillside; he spaded it, cleared
it of stones, and planted the choicest vines; within it he built a
watchtower, and hewed out a wine press. Then he looked for the crop of
grapes, but what it yielded was wild grapes. Now, inhabitants of
Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard: What
more was there to do for my vineyard that I had not done? Why, when I
looked for the crop of grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes? Now, I
will let you know what I mean to do with my vineyard: take away its
hedge, give it to grazing, break through its wall, let it be trampled!
Yes, I will make it a ruin: it shall not be pruned or hoed, but
overgrown with thorns and briers; I will command the clouds not to send
rain upon it. The vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah are his cherished plant; he looked for
judgment, but see, bloodshed! for justice, but hark, the outcry!

Brothers and sisters: Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by
prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to
God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard
your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is
pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any
excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these
things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and
seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.

MATTHEW 21:33-43
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: "Hear
another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a
hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he
leased it to tenants and went on a journey. When vintage time drew
near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce. But
the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed,
and a third they stoned. Again he sent other servants, more numerous
than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way. Finally,
he sent his son to them, thinking, 'They will respect my son. 'But when
the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, 'This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.' They seized him,
threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What will the owner of
the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?" They answered him, "He
will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard
to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times."
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."

Are you unhappy in your search for happiness? Then listen to St. Paul
in today's reading, especially the opening sentence. If you can do
what he says, you will find a deep and lasting peace. St. Paul tells
us to "Dismiss all anxiety from our minds." He then explains how to do
it and confidently predicts the results.

What do we mean by anxiety? Webster defines anxiety as "a painful
uneasiness of mind over some anticipated ill." It is not the same as
fear. Fear is a reality, but anxiety is only imaginary. For example:
if you see some suspicious looking men armed with high-powered firearms
trying to break into your house, you have good reason to fear.

But if you hear a rustling noise around your house and imagine it is
multo (a ghost), or a robber roaming around your house, you have
anxiety. The rustling noise may very well be the dry leaves blown by
the wind, or the palaka (frogs) hunting for insects.

One day, a lady sitting in a hospital waiting room noticed a man
staring at her. She became upset and angrily glared back at him, but
he didn't turn away. Finally, she walked up to him and said, "I don't
appreciate you staring at me." He replied, "I wasn't staring at you.
I'm blind." How often do we become our own worst tormentor?

Most anxieties never materialize into real fears, but they can drive
you crazy with worry. Paul says to dismiss them, send them away, and
don't let them clutter up your mind.

A major step toward dismissing anxieties is to tell our needs and
troubled feelings to God in prayer, and to place renewed trust and
confidence in Him as a loving Father.

There are many situations, which we can't control. But we can learn to
accept and refuse our anxieties by realizing God's constant love for
us. We must confidently trust that all will work for the best.

At Mass, after the "Our Father," we can pray with renewed trust and
hope: "Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our
day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all

The parable in today's Gospel is especially instructive. First of all,
it summarizes the entire biblical story of salvation. For example, the
vineyard stands for the people of Israel, as today's first reading
points out. The vineyard owner is God. The tenant farmers stand for
the chief priests and elders, whom God put in charge of his people.
The servants in the first group, whom the owner sends to the tenant
farmers to get his share of the produce, are the early prophets, whom
God sent to Israel. The servants in the second group are the later

The owner's son, who is killed by the tenant farmers, is Jesus. The
new tenants, to whom the owner leases his vineyard, are the Apostles of
Jesus. They replace the chief priests and Pharisees as the new leaders
of God's people.

Finally, the first leasing of the vineyard refers to the old
covenant. And the second leasing of the vineyard refers to the new
covenant. And so the parable is a beautiful summary of the entire
biblical story of salvation. It's a miniature Bible within the Bible.

Besides giving a summary of the entire biblical story, the parable also
reveals to us these three things:

1) It tells us something about God.

a. It tells of God's trust in men. The owner of the vineyard
entrusted it to the tenants. He did not even stand over them to
exercise a police-like supervision. He went away and left them to
their tasks. God pays people the compliment of entrusting them with
His work. Every task we receive is a task given us to do by God.

b. It tells of God's patience. The master sent messenger after
messenger. He did not come with sudden vengeance when one messenger
had been abused and ill-treated. He gave the tenants chance after
chance to respond to his appeal. God bears with people in all their
sinning and will not cast them off.

c. It tells of God's judgment. In the end the master of the
vineyard took the vineyard from the tenants and gave it to others.
God's strongest judgment is when He takes out of our hands the task,
which He meant us to do.

2) The parable also reveals some truths about people.

a. It tells of human privilege. The vineyard was equipped with
everything - the hedge, the wine press, the tower - which would
make the task of the tenants easy and enable them to discharge it well.
God does not only give us a task to do; he also gives us the means
whereby to do it. In the religious life it's called "the grace of

b. It tells us of human freedom. The master left the tenants to
do the task as they liked. God is no tyrannical taskmaster; He is like
a wise commander who allocates a task and then trusts others to do it.

c. It tells of human accountability. To all comes a day of
reckoning. We are accountable for the way in which we have carried out
the task God gave us to do,

d. It tells of the deliberateness of human sin. The tenants carry
out a deliberate policy of rebellion and disobedience against the
master. Sin is a deliberate opposition to God; it is the taking of our
own way when we know quite well what the way of God is.

3) It has much to tell us about Jesus.

a. It tells of the claim of Jesus. It shows us quite clearly
Jesus distinguishing himself from the succession of prophets. Those
who came before Him were the messengers of God. No one could deny them
that honor; but they were servants; He was the Son. This parable
contains one of the clearest claims that Jesus ever made to be unique,
to be different from even the greatest of those who were sent before.

b. It tells of the sacrifice of Jesus. It makes it clear that
Jesus knew what lay ahead. In today's parable, the wicked men killed
the son. Jesus was never in any doubt of what lay ahead. He did not
die because He was compelled to die; He went willingly with an open eye
to death.

What does the parable say to us? This much is clear. We need to know
that God is a patient parent. For too many years God was tragically
looked upon as someone who was more eager to punish than to love.

Now however, the pendulum is in danger of swinging in the opposite
direction and giving us an equally distorted image of God. Distorted
pictures are not what we need at this moment in history. What we need
is truth. And that's what we find in today's readings: the Gospel
truth about God. God is both a patient Parent and a just Judge.

Let's close with a time-honored prayer of Pope Clement XI:
"Lord, I believe in You; give me firmer faith,
I hope in You; give me surer hope.
I love You; make me love You more and more."

"I adore You as my first Beginning,
and long for You as my last End.
I praise You as my constant Benefactor,
and call upon You as my gracious Protector.

"Guide me in Your wisdom,
Restrain me by Your justice,
Comfort me by Your mercy,
Defend me by Your power.

"I offer you my thoughts, to be fixed on You;
my words, to have You as their theme;
my actions, to be done according to Your will."


We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the speedy recovery of Annika Nadine Uy.
- for the speedy recovery and well-being of Vanessa Nicole Lee Lim.
- for the special intentions of Bro. Nanding.
- for the speedy recovery of Mike Torres.
- for the speedy recovery of Jose L. Carpio.
- for the speedy recovery of Oca Oblefias.
- for good health of my wife Mona and our baby inside her..
- for the special intentions of Raymond & Chorel de Veas
- for Gladys who will undergo a major surgery on 7th October
- for the speedy recovery of Raymond Ronald. He is in comatose state.
Please pray that the Lord will miraculously heal him.
- for the intentions of Eva Kabore & Joyce Borning Family & Friends
- for the special intentions of Liza Carpio & family.
- for the special intentions of Beny Chua.
- for the well-being of Grace Morales.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Prayer Intention: Mark Yu and Sasa Yu
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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