Gospel MT 21:33-43
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
"Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near,
he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
another they killed, and a third they stoned.
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones,
but they treated them in the same way.
Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking,
'They will respect my son.'
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another,
'This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.'
They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?"
They answered him,
"He will put those wretched men to a wretched death
and lease his vineyard to other tenants
who will give him the produce at the proper times."
Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures:
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?
Therefore, I say to you,
the kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that will produce its fruit."
+Come Holy Spirit, Creator Blessed, and in our souls take up your rest. Amen
"There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey." In other words, the landowner began, by doing all the work, all that was needed to 'equip' the tenants so that they would only need to care for the vineyard and nurture its growth. They were 'poised' to flourish and to have a fruitful harvest when the time came, if they simply cared for what was entrusted to them. When the landowner asked for the produce, he was asking for nothing extraordinary, as it was His for the asking, it was a just request, it was right and due. He sent several representatives but none were respected, none were heeded. What can we learn from this relationship between the landowner and the tenants? There is a book called; the "Noon Day Devil" by Jean Charles Nault OSB, he speaks about a word that is rarely spoken of these days, but is quite common in our culture ; Acedia. It is manifested in many forms , to name a few: Restlessness, hyperactivity, sadness, boredom, sluggishness, irritability and hostility when called into 'check', when made accountable. There is a 'shrinking away' from what appears to be too spiritually challenging, too taxing, requiring too much sacrifice, so we shrink from our 'task at hand', our call to greatness, we shrink away from the call to holiness! Why do we do this, what are we afraid of? Why do we stop before trying? Why do we quit the endeavor before even attempting? What makes us feel so incapable of the task? I think at times we buy the lie, that we won't be able to make it and truly that is a lie, because the Lord never sets us up to fail.
If we ponder the 'vineyard' through the lens of God's gifts, we will look at this passage differently. There is a particular work/mission entrusted to you and to me. No one else can do it because there is only one YOU. Our Father in heaven has equipped each of us his beloved children with all we need to bear fruit for the Kingdom of God, if we but cooperate with His Grace- and so nurture the growth of our spirit. The fruit that grows from the use of our gifts, these fruits belong to Him, ( landowner) they are His. "What has God gifted me with and what am I doing with it? Do I get defensive with God and others when they call out of me, excellence? A greater degree of holiness? When they encourage me to strive and give more generously live more wholeheartedly given? I am complacent unwilling to the make any efforts to really grow?
Prayer: 'O Lord you mete out peace to us, for it is you, who have accomplished all we have done." Cant Is 26