Jesus came not to abolish the Old Testament law but to fulfill it (see Matthew 5:17).
And in today's Gospel, He reveals that love - of God and of neighbor - is the fulfillment of the whole of the law (see Romans 13:8-10). Devout Israelites were to keep all 613 commands found in the Bible's first five books. Jesus says today that all these, and all the teachings of the prophets, can be summarized by two verses of this law (see Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18).READ MORE
The Lord is king over all the earth, as we sing in today's Psalm. Governments rise and fall by His permission, with no authority but that given from above (see John 19:11; Romans 13:1).
In effect, God says to every ruler what he tells King Cyrus in today's First Reading: "I have called you...though you knew me not."READ MORE
Our Lord's parable in today's Gospel is again a fairly straightforward outline of salvation history. God is the king (see Matthew 5:35), Jesus the bridegroom (see Matthew 9:15), the feast is the salvation and eternal life that Isaiah prophesies in today's First Reading. The Israelites are those first invited to the feast by God's servants, the prophets (see Isaiah 7:25). For refusing repeated invitations and even killing His prophets, Israel has been punished, its city conquered by foreign armies.READ MORE
In today's Gospel Jesus returns to the Old Testament symbol of the vineyard to teach about Israel, the Church, and the kingdom of God. And the symbolism of today's First Reading and Psalm is readily understood. God is the owner and the house of Israel is the vineyard. A cherished vine, Israel was plucked from Egypt and transplanted in a fertile land specially spaded and prepared by God, hedged about by the city walls of Jerusalem, watched over by the towering Temple.READ MORE
Echoing the complaint heard in last week's readings, today's first reading again presents protests that God isn't fair. Why does He punish with death one who begins in virtue but falls into iniquity, while granting life to the wicked one who turns from sin? This is the question that Jesus takes up in the parable in today's Gospel.
The first son represents the most heinous sinners of Jesus' day - tax collectors and prostitutes - who by their sin at first refuse to serve in the Lord's vineyard, the kingdom. At the preaching of John the Baptist, they repented and did what is right and just. The second son represents Israel's leaders - who said they would serve God in the vineyard, but refused to believe John when he told them they must produce good fruits as evidence of their repentance (see Matthew 3:8).READ MORE