Gospel: Matthew 21:33-43,45-46
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.”
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables,
they knew that he was speaking about them.
And although they were attempting to arrest him,
they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Mass intention is for Gerald Kiwanuka RIP.
“Everything is on loan!”, a priest once told those in church. Unfortunately, the tenants in today’s Gospel behaved as though that they owned the vineyard. Their greed turned them into murderers, first, of the landowner’s servants and finally, of the landowner’s son. In this parable, Jesus was alluding to the chief priests and elders as the wicked tenants. Also, Jesus foretells His death in the hands of these people, the builders who rejected the cornerstone. The parable applies to us too since we are also tenants in the Lord’s vast vineyard. We too have been entrusted to look after the vineyard and handover to the landowner “the produce at the proper times.” However, we have also failed to be fruitful. Instead of cultivating our hearts and society with love and mercy, we have sown the seeds of hatred and violence. We have been ungrateful for all that the Lord has done to us. We have become wicked tenants. This Lent let us take time to think of how Jesus faced evil by dying on the cross so that we may become “a people that will produce” the fruit of God’s Kingdom.
- How are you as a tenant in the Lord’s vineyard?
- How do you keep yourself a trustworthy tenant in the Lord’s vineyard?
- How do you express your gratitude to Jesus who died to save you?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. May we become thanksgivers who generously and untiringly work for the coming of Your Kingdom here on earth. Amen.
Suggested Lenten penance: Give away some of your belongings.