27th Sunday in OT (Is 5:1-7; Matt 21:33-43) – October 8, 2017
PONDERING GOD’S WORD (Meditation)
This parable of Jesus takes us to something that was usual in first century Palestine—a landowner, a vineyard, a self-sufficient business of winemaking, and of course, tenants who would manage it. The landowner then sends people who would collect the business revenue. Usual stuff, indeed!
However, the parable highlights the twist. The narrative turns violent with the tenants beating and killing those who were sent by the landowner. This happened twice. The landowner then gives it another try, sending his own son, but rather than relent, the tenants plot against the son and kill him. Jesus then asks an important question that he also answers: what will the owner do? He will put the tenants to death and lease his vineyard to other tenants.
The parable is a concise rendition of God’s judgment. The Father is the landowner who sent prophets (the servants) to Israel and its leaders (the tenants) who maltreat these servants. Then he sent his Son, Jesus, who suffers the same fate as the prophets. The parable’s narration is timely: at the time Jesus was in Jerusalem, a few days before his passion and death. Jesus illustrates a fulfillment from Scripture when he quotes Ps 118:22 “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” This parable is directed to the chief priests and Pharisees who rightly realized that it was for them.
The final words make us reflect: “Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.” God continually communicates with us in many ways in our daily life but like the tenants, our selfishness becomes a hindrance to produce good fruits. Jesus comes and many times, unaware, we reject him. This parable is a reminder for us to be more sensitive to God’s words and His Word.
- Am I sensitive to God’s constant communication? Are my personal concerns a distraction in my relationship with him?
- What fruits do I render to God who has made me a steward over his creation?
Ask the Lord to make you recognize his presence in your daily life.
Jesus spoke of the servants who were killed. Pray for those who are being killed (especially in the Middle East and in our country) unjustly.