Gospel – Matthew 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.”
Reflection on the Gospel
Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.
“They will respect my son.” Telling this parable, Jesus foreshadows his own death and what really amounts to the key to our salvation. Fallen humanity has turned on God through the sin of Adam and Eve and God us sent us the prophets to call us back to faithfulness. Oh, how challenging it is to be a prophet! What do we do to the prophets? We kill them. Why? Because it is all too much for us. We don’t like it when someone corrects us. We can’t bear to hear that we need to change, so we turn on the messenger.
The landowner in the parable believes that by sending his Son he will be able to collect what is due to him. ”They will respect my Son,” says the Lord, but we did not. Humanity turned on the Son, just as the debtors turned on the son of the landowner. We killed the Son! But the Son was both God and man. In killing the Son, we put God on the cross. In rising from the dead, Jesus, the God-Man, returns to the interior life of the Trinity with our very nature. Thus, humanity has a destiny far greater than Adam and Eve’s garden. Our destiny lies in the very interior life to the Holy Trinity.
When we proclaim, “Live Jesus in our hearts forever,” we recall that it is the divine life truly living within us because of this perfect union of God and man. Today I stand grateful before God that despite our rejection of Him, He lays before us the example of unfailing love. While we may deserve the wages of sin, he gives us divine life. May I follow that example of unfailing love so as to share the divine life. May I always be grateful for the underserved gift of this divine life.
Mr. Joe Gerardi – Theology Teacher
DeLaSalle Collegiate High School – Warren, MI
Saint John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts – Forever.
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