26th Sunday – Year A



Brant Pitre (www.catholicproductions.com)

  • Why does Jesus ask such a seemingly obvious parable?  Well, the answer is simple. It is that the primary meaning of this particular parable is the application to Jesus’ audience. We must understand the context.  Jesus says this parable in the Temple to the leadership within Jerusalem (the chief priests & the elders) who had rejected John the Baptist as being an authentic prophet sent from God. 1st son = tax collectors & prostitutes – initially disobedient to John the Baptist but eventually repented and began to cultivate lives of virtue (work in the vineyard). 2nd son = chief priests & elders – seemed obedient to the law of God but reject John the Baptist as a prophet. This parable is a kind of prophecy of indictment against Jesus’ contemporaries. This is the classic role of a prophet (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc) – call out sinful leaders of Israel to repentance.

  • Ezekiel 18 – Ezekiel is a prophet of judgment at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple in 587 BC. Responds to those who claim God’s judgment is unjust. Key message = God always extends His mercy to those who repent of their sins.
  • Responsorial psalm = picks up this theme: “Remember your mercies, O Lord.” Beg God that our past sins don’t define us in God’s eyes but rather His hesed, His merciful love.
  • MERCY! Jesus’ whole ministry was one of mercy.


Fr. John Horgan Homily


St. Charles Borromeo Bible Study

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