In this Sunday’s Readings, we are given quite a neat and clear theme that runs through: The Lord’s vineyard.
In our First Reading, taken from the prophet Isaiah, we get the Lord speaking about His vineyard that He planted. But what vineyard did God plant?
As the Lord Himself says towards the end of the Reading:
Yes, the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the House of Israel, and the men of Judah that chosen plant.
“Israel” here refers to the northern tribes of the larger kingdom of Israel (the northern tribes and the whole kingdom of the north and south together are both named “Israel.” Yes, confusing.) and the “men of Judah” refer to the men of the southern tribe of Judah (and Benjamin). In sum, the vineyard is the whole kingdom of Israel.
The Lord made this kingdom from Jacob, whom He named “Israel,” and his twelves sons (remember that story about Joseph and the coat?—Joseph and his brothers were the sons!). They were taken to Egypt because of a worldwide famine that Egypt was more prepared for (thanks to Joseph!) and there, the Lord “found good soil” to plant His small vineyard.
Eventually, that plant grew pretty big and was beginning to be choked by the thorns of Egypt’s pagan ways, so the Lord liberated His vineyard and brought them (not without difficulty—these are the books of Exodus all the way to Joshua) to the Promised Land where His plant could fully flourish!
However, His vineyard, made up of human beings with free will, were continuously turning their backs on Him and falling into pagan ways and so the Lo