May the peace of Christ reign in our hearts.
In this Gospel there is lots of symbolism
and so we really have to be thoughtful when we try to understand its meaning.
The vineyard…symbolizes creation, or the world.
The vineyard also symbolizes our life.
Like the landowner gives the vineyard to the tenants to bear fruit.
God gives us our life to bear fruit.
but who we become.
The Grapes and wild grapes…
are the fruit of our labor,
the work of our hands.
The Landowner is God…
God who gives us everything we need.
Like the vineyard described in the parable is beautiful
God gives us a wonderful world, a beautiful vineyard
a place which is capable of providing for us abundantly, richly.
God like the landowner wants to enjoy the work of our hands.
God wants to be proud of us.
God wants to rejoice in our successes and is very patient with us.
He is so desperate for us to live as we should
that he repeatedly sends
servants or prophets to encourage us and guide us on our journey.
The patience and perseverance of God is astounding.
Remember that powerfully tragic line in the parable,
“but the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
another they killed, and a third they stoned.”
The landowner does not give up on the tenants
Even when they are steeped in sin and violence.
He forgives all these horrible offenses
and sends his Son his own flesh and blood to
help these evil tenants change their ways.
Moved by jealousy and anger and incredible greed the tenants kill his son.
Just like the religious leaders of Jesus’ time killed God’s Son.
And only after that does the landowner take his revenge.
As you can see this parable is intense.
Jesus was speaking to the religious leaders of his time
because he loved them even with all their sins.
With this parable He showed them who they were and where they were headed.
He didn’t sugar coat.
They had done horrible things.
Motivated by greed and
a lust for power they
killed the Messiah.
We all know that roughly 40 years after Jesus’ death
in a terrible war of destruction,
the Romans destroyed all that was dear to the Israel ju
But because the scriptures are the word of God
They not only speak to the people of his time…
they speak to us.
The parables are like mirrors where God shows us who we are and who we ought to be.
Here are some questions for us the tenants of the vineyard.
God has given us the vineyard of our lives what are we doing with this incredible gift
Is the fruit of our lives, or our grapes, bountiful or wild?
Are we taking care of the vineyard?
Are we caring for it so future generations can enjoy it and benefit from it?
Are we sharing the vineyard’s, abundance fairly?
Do all of our brothers and sisters have the ability to share in its resources?
Is our first impluse to think of ourselves or others?
Do we think we know it all like the tenants?
Do we listen to the prophets and teachers that God
repeatedly sends us over and over and over again or
do we persecute them or marginalize them, ignore them make fun of them?
These are really important questions.
We are in a difficult economic crisis.
It seems that many in our country are also motivated by greed.
What place does greed have in our lives?
Are we working for only ourselves like the tenants or are we living the generous holy lives that God calls us to live ?
This parable is as powerful today as it was when it was proclaimed over 2000 years ago.
Let us look in the mirror that Jesus holds up for us in this parable and let us see who we are.
Let us listen and learn.