Today’s gospel is Matt 21:33-46
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: ‘Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third. Next he sent some more servants, this time a larger number, and they dealt with them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them. “They will respect my son” he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance.” So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They answered, ‘He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him when the season arrives’. Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures:
It was the stone rejected by the builders
that became the keystone.
This was the Lord’s doing
and it is wonderful to see?
I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.’
When they heard his parables, the chief priests and the scribes realised he was speaking about them, but though they would have liked to arrest him they were afraid of the crowds, who looked on him as a prophet.
When I read this, I usually reflect on the rejection of Jesus by his contemporaries. When I was preparing my homily however I was struck by how the landowner had set everything up for the tenants: “There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad.” It goes without saying that he OWNED everything as well.
All that they had to do was to put to use what they had received. This caused me to reflect on how everything that we have is a gift. When we see life from this perspective, it helps to free us from greed and envy. We can share more generously with others and have an attitude of gratitude to God for all that he has given us: health of body/mind/spirit, family and friends, work, food, clothing, a place to live, the beauty of the natural world, etc.