Sunday, October 05, 2008

"This is the Heir"

The Gospel at Mass today brings us another parable set in a vineyard in which Jesus speaks about the Kingdom of God.

From Matthew Chapter 21:

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:

"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."

Deacon Greg has an excellent homily on today's Mass readings in which he reflects on the financial crisis and the example of Dorothy Day. (BTW: prayers for Deacon Greg as he begins a new segment of his journey.)

The image above, called "The Wicked Tenants," is by Austin artist James B. Janknegt.

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