The Friday in the 2nd Week of Lent
March 10, 2023
Through this parable, Jesus uses a vineyard as a metaphor for Israel, predicts his own rejection and death, and foreshadows the fall of Jerusalem. Pretty powerful stuff! The people of Israel had abused God’s trust in them as tenants in His vineyard. They had stoned, beaten and killed His representatives (slaves/prophets) and would soon kill His son, Jesus. In response, the scriptures say, “The stone that the builders (religious leaders) rejected has become the cornerstone”.
The old tenants may kill the son, but through his death and resurrection, God will start a new vineyard with the Son, the cornerstone of His everlasting vineyard on earth. Our baptismal covenant is our lease agreement in accepting tenancy to this new vineyard. God challenges us to do a better job of producing and sharing its fruits. He gives us a second chance.
How have we accepted this challenge? Are we up to the task before us? Is our landowner pleased with our work? What fruits are we producing? Are we sowing love, respect for our planet and the people in it, mercy, obedience, truth, healing, reconciliation? Do we honor our lease/baptismal vows to strive for justice and peace among all people, respecting the dignity of every human being? Do we seek to serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves?
The earth is the Lord’s vineyard. We don’t own it. We rent it for a few years, but ownership remains with God. What kind of tenants will we be? Will our vineyard flourish, nourish and inspire the tenants who follow us, or will it wither, struggle and be lost? The work is hard, but the rewards are great. The path is ours to choose.