Everyday during Lent, we will offer a reflection of hope. Please join us in prayer.
GOSPEL MT 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.
Reflection by Karen Chambers, Director of Campus Ministry.
In the parable of the wicked tenants, Jesus tells us the story of a landowner whose tenants, due to their greed, ended up violently attacking and killing not only the landowner’s servants, but his own son. We can deduce rather quickly that the landowner is God, the wicked tenants are the chief priests and Pharisees, the injured and murdered servants are the prophets, and the slaughtered heir is Jesus. But what is Jesus trying to teach us, today? If we are the tenants who replaced the wicked ones, how are we doing so far? God has made us stewards of this planet and of one another. Jesus sets up the story to remind us of the vineyard in Isaiah 5:1-7, where God expected good grapes of justice and righteousness, but instead got “wild grapes” of bloodshed and cries. When I look at my own life, am I sewing justice and righteousness? Am I spreading God’s love to those around me? Am I using the talents God has trusted me with for selflessness or selfishness? This Lent, let us remind ourselves to be good stewards of God’s love and grace who work towards justice and righteousness.