Matthew 21: 33-43
Sunday Reflection by Juana Jaqueline Castillo-Salvador, SNDdeN
The parable of the workers in the vineyard raises many questions since when we read it, we discover the Machiavellian actions of those who tend the vineyards.
As we enter into reflection, we discover that the owner has a heart that goes beyond our understanding since the discarded stone will be transformed into the cornerstone; all this because God does not compete against our actions, He goes further because He is a Good God who loves all things.
Let’s go back and contemplate the hard work of the landowner at the beginning of the parable. He prepares the vineyard with everything necessary for it to bear fruit and, when it is very well prepared, he leaves it in the care of workers. He gives us his vineyard with all the confidence that he possesses as a Father and hopes that his sons and daughters will act in the same way, that is, that they work collaboratively so that the fruits may multiply and reach everyone justly and without distinction, thus making sure that life may be a most profoundly shared existence.
The owner calls for the harvest at the appropriate time, at the prudent time, at the time when the fruits are ripe because he eagerly hopes to receive that which is his; he hopes to receive a little reward for the gift he has handed us; he hopes that we will generously return that which we have been given; he hopes for a generous, humble, simple and grateful heart; he hopes that our work has been unselfish. Perhaps the words “… I did not lose anything of that which you gave me …” help us understand that which the father, owner of the vineyard, expects of us since we are “simple workers”.
IF… When … The role of the workers in the story becomes framed in selfishness, greed, dissatisfaction, the anxiety of possessing, the fear of believing that they can lose and be left with nothing and from there their hearts are hardened and are upset, their actions are blinded; they will have lost the horizon; they will become the enemies of Life, they will have lost the charm of their Life.
The owner expects us to work with outstretched hands, open to life, simple and committed to the suffering and needs of the other; he expects us to become, together with him, contributors to life.
What is the vineyard at this specific moment in our lives? What are we doing with this entrusted vineyard? What care are we giving to this entrusted vineyard? Does it worry me that the owner will come to collect the fruit he hopes for? What will my answer be if the owner of the vineyard arrives tonight?
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.”
The Word of the Lord…