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Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and companions, martyrs, June 3, 2024


Gospel

Mk 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.


Reflection


Upon reading this Gospel for the first time, I instantly remembered this parable as it was animated on EWTN in a cartoon I watched after school as a child. I recall being shocked and horrified at what they were doing to the servants, and when the owner decided to send his son, I vividly remember thinking, "Noooo, why would you do that? They won’t respect your son; just look at what they did to your servants!" While I might not have understood the deeper parallels and meanings then, I can appreciate them now.


Reflecting on this passage today, especially the line, “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,” I can only think of how God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to be brutally murdered here on earth. Understanding this now, I can see the immense sacrifice and love in God's plan, and how Jesus’ sacrifice is the ultimate act of love and redemption for humanity.


Furthermore, the passage about the stone that the builders rejected stood out to me because I did not fully understand it at first glance. After some reflection, I realized that the stone represents Jesus, whom the religious leaders or “builders” rejected. This rejected stone becomes the cornerstone, which is essential to a building's structure and foundation. For me, this signifies that Jesus is essential for a strong foundation in our lives. He is the cornerstone of our faith, and without Him, our lives lack the necessary foundation and strength in every aspect.

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