This homily, based on Matthew 21:33-43, was delivered on 04 October in Gloucester, UK during the Filipino community’s belated celebration of the feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz (29 September).

At first glance, it would seem that our Gospel parable today is perfectly suitable for our belated celebration of the feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz. Our Lord tells the story of a vineyard owner who sends a series of servants to his tenants to collect the rent, but every single one of those hapless servants were killed–one after the other–by those villainous tenants. And when the landowner sent his own son as a last resort, even him the tenants did not hesitate to kill.

It sounds almost like a parable of the life of San Lorenzo Ruiz. For was he not one of many missionaries who traveled to Japan in the 17th century, only to be arrested there, tortured, and martyred for the faith?