Time and Glory

October 8, 2017
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
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.”

Reflection (Sem. Miguel Josemaria C. Valeroso)

If it’s late, it’s free! Sometimes, we hope that the delivery would arrive late to get the pizza for free. Despite the bad traffic conditions of major roads in Metro Manila, the delivery boy manages to arrive on time more often than not. This just goes to show the power of the will or of a well-thought out strategy to beat the odds. There is then really little or no excuse for tardiness once a reasonable time is set. Of course, there may be some valid excuses we could think of, but then again maybe there really is none.

Timing is of the essence. I remember my mother used to say to us, “delayed obedience is disobedience.” She wanted us to stand up from whatever else it is we are doing and do what we are supposed to be doing. The time element is included in the task.

The parable in the Gospel speaks of the responsibility of each person to give to God at the proper season the produce from the graces received from Him. At every moment of each day, He gives us the grace for doing what is good and pleasing in His sight. Sometimes the task seems daunting and even impossible but it is not for us to delay or even run away from it. When the grace is given then the time is ripe for glory.

Our seminary is one of the few seminaries that admit only those with “late vocation” or those who hear and answer the call to Priesthood and to enter the seminary at a later age (25-40 yrs. old). We call ourselves late vocations but in reality, we believe that God’s call is not late but He calls at the precise time He means to. When in our time spent with God we recognize the grace of responding to the call to the Priesthood, then the time might be ripe to heed the call.

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