Taking Away Their Vineyard (Mt 21:33-43)
O Lord, you have given me everything. Make me a faithful tenant.
Picture Jesus with his disciples and his opponents.
Jesus spoke this parable in Jerusalem when the chief priests and elders questioned his authority. The parable fitted their situation. The tenants are the Jewish religious leaders. The vineyard is Israel. The servants already rejected are the Old Testament prophets. The son, of course, is Jesus. By rejecting the son (killing him on the cross), the religious leaders will lose their authority.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus said, “There was a man who planted a vineyard, put a hedge, dug a vat and erected a tower. He rented it to tenants and went on a journey. When the harvest came he sent his servants to the tenants to receive his share. The tenants beat one, killed another and stoned another. He sent more servants and they did the same. Finally, he sent his son, thinking, “They will respect my son.”
Seeing the son, the tenants said, “This is the heir. Let us kill him and we shall own the vineyard.” So they killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the Lord of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?”
They answered, “He will bring those evil men to an evil end and will give the vineyard to those who will give him grapes at vintage time.” Jesus said, “For this reason I say that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and will be given to a people who will yield a rich harvest.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Notice the zeal and care of the owner for his vineyard. He plants a vineyard and builds a hedge, a vat and a tower.
- The owner only wanted his share of the grapes.
- The messengers just bring the owner’s words – to give them what is his due.
- The owner is patient, even when the tenants kill his servants.
- He gives them another chance, deciding to even risk his son to restore the right relationship.
- The tenants want the whole vineyard and are willing to kill the son to get it.
- Instead of gaining the vineyard, they are cast out.
- The vineyard is taken away and given to others.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, you have done everything for me. You created me. You came to earth for me. You died for me.
- O Lord, you have a right to my praise, to my life, to everything. It is yours.
- O Lord, when you send your messengers, let me accept them. When you speak in my heart, let me listen.
- How patient you are, O Lord, waiting, always waiting until I turn to you.
- Father, you sent your only Son to me, even at the cost of his life.
- I give you everything. All that is yours is mine. You have done everything for me.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will give God every Sunday. The day belongs to him.
+ I will listen to the church and to God’s voice within me.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
Finally, he sent his son, thinking, “Surely, they will respect my son.”