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Sunday, October 3, 1999

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27th Sunday Ordinary Time
Respect Life Sunday (USA)

Isaiah 5:1-7
Philippians 4:6-9
Psalm 80
Matthew 21:33-43

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grapes of wrath?

"We will no more withdraw from You; give us new life." —Psalm 80:19

The owner of the vineyard gave the tenant farmers several opportunities to give him his share of the grapes (Mt 21:34ff). Likewise, the Lord has given us several opportunities to die to ourselves and bear fruit for Him (see Jn 12:24).

The owner of the vineyard eventually had to punish the tenant farmers. Because they did not give him the fruit of his vineyard, he gave them the fruit of their rebellion, that is, the wages of sin which is death (Rm 6:23). Likewise, the Lord will let us punish, destroy, and damn ourselves if we refuse to repent of our sins.

The owner of the vineyard sent his son to the tenant farmers. This was their last chance. Likewise, God the Father, the Vinegrower, sent us His Son, the Vine (Jn 15:1, 5). Jesus promised that those who live in Him and He in them will produce fruit abundantly (Jn 15:5). Otherwise, they will be "thrown in the fire and burnt" (Jn 15:6).

Repent! Believe in Jesus! Bear fruit for Him or die the second death (see Rv 2:11).

Prayer:  "Once again, O Lord of hosts, look down from heaven, and see; take care of this vine, and protect what Your right hand has planted" (Ps 80:15-16).

Promise:  "Finally, my brothers, your thoughts should be wholly directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous, or worthy of praise." —Phil 4:8

Praise:  Praise You, Jesus, King of kings! You have won the victory over sin and death, and You sit at the right hand of the Father (Rv 3:21). We sing Your praises forever!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 10, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 16, 1999