October 8, 2023
Matthew 21: 33-43
Our generous God entrusts wonderful gifts to us. What God asks of us is simply to care for those gifts and produce the fruit at the right time. We enjoy the gifts, but we do not own them. When the Giver asks for a return, we should respond with a generous heart, but sometimes greed gets in our way. Instead of returning the gifts, we claim ownership and cling to what belongs to another.
Today’s gospel parable reminds us to prioritize acting justly and walking humbly with our God. The landlord leased his vineyard, trusting the tenants to tend it well and return the fruit to its owner. Instead, greed led them to steal the proceeds and kill the messengers, including the heir. Our challenge is to recognize and declare injustice wherever we find it, including in our own hearts and minds. We must walk humbly with our God, who will forgive and strengthen us if only we are honest and make ongoing efforts to live justly and to build a more just world. Often, we are tempted to kill the messenger, that is, to refuse to hear a tough message or to find the flaws rather than to ponder the truth in what challenges us. Let’s step back, listen, and open ourselves to God’s call; let’s walk humbly with our God, begging forgiveness for our unjust ways and working to build a more just world.
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.”
Meet Sister Marilyn Pechillo, SNDdeN