3 - 4 minutes readSermon of St. Ambrose for Friday of the 2nd Week of Lent: The Vineyard

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Homily by St. Ambrose, Bishop

Bk. ix on Luke xx

Many derive diverse spiritual meanings from the term vineyard, but Isaias giveth us to know that the vineyard of the Lord of Sabaoth is the house of Israel. v. 7. Who but God planted that vineyard? He it was that let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country; not that the Lord, Who is everywhere present, moveth from place to place; but because He is nigh unto them that seek Him, and from such as regard Him not He standeth afar off. For a long time He tarried away, lest He might seem to ask too early for the fruits of His vineyard. For where kindness is greatest, there ingratitude is worst.


Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthæum. Sequel of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.
Cap. xxi. Ch. xxi.
In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus turbis Judæorum, et principibus sacerdotum parabolam hanc: Homo erat paterfamilias, qui plantavit vineam, et sepem circumdedit ei, et fodit in ea torcular, et ædificavit turrim, et locavit eam agricolis, et peregre profectus est. Cum autem tempus fructuum appropinquasset, misit servos suos ad agricolas, ut acciperent fructus ejus. Et agricolæ, apprehensis servis ejus, alium cæciderunt, alium occiderunt, alium vero lapidaverunt. Iterum misit alios servos plures prioribus, et fecerunt illis similiter. Novissime autem misit ad eos filium suum, dicens: Verebuntur filium meum. Agricolæ autem videntes filium, dixerunt intra se: Hic est hæres: venite, occidamus eum, et habebimus hæreditatem ejus. Et apprehensum eum ejecerunt extra vineam, et occiderunt. Cum ergo venerit dominus vineæ, quid faciet agricolis illis? Aiunt illi: Malos male perdet: et vineam suam locabit aliis agricolis, qui reddant ei fructum temporibus suis. Dicit illis Jesus: Numquam legistis in Scripturis: Lapidem quem reprobaverunt ædificantes, hic factus est in caput anguli? A Domino factum est istud, et est mirabile in colus nostris. Ideo dico vobis, quia auferetur a vobis regnum Dei, et dabitur genti facienti fructus ejus. Et qui ceciderit super lapidem istum, confringetur: super quem vero ceciderit, conteret eum. Et cum audissent principes sacerdotum et Pharisæi parabolas ejus, cognoverunt quod de ipsis diceret. Et quærentes eum tenere, timuerunt turbas; quoniam sicut Prophetam eum habebant. At that time: Jesus spoke to the multitude of the Jews, and to the chief priests this parable: There was a house-holder who planted a vineyard, and made a hedge round about it, and dug in it a press, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a strange country. And when the time of the fruits drew nigh, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits thereof. And the husbandmen laying hands on his servants, beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the former; and they did to them in like manner. And last of all he sent them his son, saying: They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves: This is the heir, come, let us kill him, and we shall have his inheritance. And taking him, they cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him. When, therefore, the lord of the vineyard shall come, what will he do to those husbandmen? They say to him: He will bring those evil men to an evil end: and will let out his vineyard to other husbandmen that shall render him the fruit in due season. Jesus saith to them: Have you never read in the Scripture: “The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? By the Lord this hath been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes.” Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone, shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it shall grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they knew that he spoke of them. And seeking to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude; because they held him as a prophet.

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