A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark 12: 1-12
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders in parables. " A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey. At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty handed. Again, he sent them another servant. And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully. He sent yet another whom they killed. So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed. He had one other to send, a beloved son. He sent him to them last of all, thinking, 'They will respect my son.' But those tenants said to one another , 'This is the heir. Come let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they seized him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come, put the tenants to death and give the vineyard to others . Have you not read this Scripture passage:
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes"?
They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd, for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them. So they left him and went away.
The Gospel of the Lord
REFLECTION: " They will respect respect my Son."
In the old testament, Isaiah spoke of the house of Israel as "the vineyard of the Lord" ( Isaiah 5:7)
The parable of the vineyard was said to the chief priests, scribes, and the elders. They immediately knew whom Jesus was referring to. They wanted to arrest him but they feared the crowd, so they left and went away.
The vineyard owner (God) let the tenants use all he had in his vineyard. Yet, when he asked for some of the fruit from the vineyard, his servants were rejected and killed. At last, he sent his son (Jesus) and he too was killed, but the tenants thought that if they killed him, then the vineyard would be theirs to keep. Jesus promised that the tenants would be destroyed by the owner and the vineyard would be the inheritance of others.
God was dealing with a stubborn and rebellious people. If you notice, each time a new servant was sent, the tenants' response to them became more emboldened. At first they just seized and beat and then
they beat and treated shamefully and then they killed the servant and then finally killed the owner's son. Each encounter they lost their fear of repercussions and consequences and finally did the worst--they killed.
God dealt with them with generosity and trust. God, too , allows us the freedom to live as we choose. God is patient and just with the tenants, many times forgiving them their debts, tho they had killed his servants . But, at last, judgement and justice prevailed when the tenants were destroyed by God . But Jesus knew that it would not just end with rejection, but the glory would be his, --the glory of resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father.
Again the chief priests, scribes and elders , left Jesus alone that day because they feared the crowd . Fear, once it is removed, can no longer hold us back from sin.
Jesus has reminded and promised us (2 Peter 1:4, reading) that we are to partake of this resurrection and glory. We are to share in his divine nature.
We are given the gift of the Holy Spirit, and thru the gifts we are given, we work in the vineyard, to bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
1. The fruit of peace when we forgive. We become more like Jesus when we forgive those who have hurt us.
2. The fruit of righteousness when we reach out to the poor, the lost and the forgotten.
3. The fruit of joy when we make a sacrifice out of love--caring for the sick, our relative, donating our time to the parish.
4. The fruit of justice when you intercede for others.
The more you ask of the Spirit for the gifts and the fruits, the more we think and act like Jesus.
PRAYER: Let us pray that we become good stewards of God's vineyard and that we can grow in and share in the glory of God's divine nature. Amen
Please pray the PAPA (Priests Always/Prayer Apostolate) prayer for priests on our website. Our vision is to see priests on fire for Jesus and His Church, the Body and Bride of Christ. Our mission is to "Go and make disciples of all nations: behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age" (Matthew 28: 18, 20)