Reconciliation Lectionary: Isaiah 5:1-7

mary-the-penitent.jpgJesus taught in parables, but he wasn’t the only one. Maybe the prophet Isaiah had an actual friend. But that was so long ago, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that God cares, but according to the prophet, he has a limit to the bad behavior he will tolerate from those who serve him.

Now let me sing of my friend,
my beloved’s song about 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 waited for the crop of grapes,
but it yielded rotten grapes.

Now, inhabitants of Jerusalem, people of Judah,
judge between me and my vineyard:

What more could be done for my vineyard
that I did not do?
Why, when I waited for the crop of grapes,
did it yield rotten grapes?

Now, I will let you know
what I am going to do to 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 will be overgrown with thorns and briers;
I will command the clouds
not to rain upon it.

The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel,
the people of Judah, his cherished plant;
He waited for judgment, but see, bloodshed!
for justice, but hark, the outcry!

In this weekend’s Gospel, Jesus tells a similar tale. The lesson is that the chosen, if they are unfaithful to the mission, will find themselves left on the wayside and others will take up the task. It works for the Jews of Isaiah’s time, and of Jesus’s time. It works for today, too, among Christians.

For this passage to be included in the reconciliation Lectionary, it means that we are not quite at the terminal point of this parable. We can decide in favor of loyalty to the Master.

Even though modern sensibilities are not connected with the pastoral setting of the vineyard, we have this very vivid passage, as well as Jesus’s parable to help us understand a bit better.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Rite of Penance, Scripture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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