Daily Reflection – 3/13/2020
“Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey. When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce. But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned. Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way. Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’ They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?” They answered him, “He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times.” Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’? Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them. And although they were attempting to arrest him, they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet. ( Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46)
Are you a tenant farmer? I would guess that most people would say “of course not.” OK, then do you know the biblical tenant farmers. I would guess that most people would say “ Yes, of course, that is one of the better known parables.”
So, my answer is . . “let’s not leave the parable of the tenant farmers in scripture.” After all, you and I are tenant farmers. We are all tenants in God’s creation. All of us have different circumstances, gifts, and resources, but those do not belong to us in the eternal sense. They are gifts from God to allow us to work on His behalf to the best of our abilities and circumstances. We do not need to become clerics to do this, of course, but we can exemplify the Word of God in our careers through ethical and moral conduct, by raising families that praise the Lord, and through building communities and cultures that reflect His values, rather than our own desires and amusements.
The issue is that many people will read this scripture and even this reflection and pass it over. The words sound right but through time and repetition, they lose most of their meaning for our daily lives. We may go through the actions but the actions lose some of their meaning. It’s a bit like selective hearing. Our ears hear but our hearts don’t listen.
If that is the case, there is another message in today’s parable . . .” the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” Let us take a lesson today from the wicked tenants, and instead of abusing our gifts; let us practice good stewardship and allow our lives to be fruitful … as they are meant to be.
Our parable today is an appeal from Jesus for us to respond to God’s initiative to save, to receive him. There is no better way to sum up the meaning of Lent than to say that it is time for each of us respond to the saving action of Jesus Christ by being even better tenant farmers. In this season we seek in a renewed way and with fresh energy to receive Christ, to welcome him, to listen to him and to live out our lives in Him and through Him.
Prayer of The Day
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, we praise you for all that you have given to us, help us to be good stewards of all that is entrusted to us.
The Lord calls and invites us to bear good fruits for others to be shared. During Lent, we have an opportunity to ask ourselves some key questions. When was the last time that we shared our good fruits with others? In our families, have we really lived- ut our Christian life and shared the good works with others? Have we inspired others in our neighborhood, in our community, in our church , in our workplace thru our examples and deeds?