“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another.
Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.”
So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.”
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
When I asked a Jesuit in an MBA program why he was doing the degree in organizational management, he responded that he had never worked in a system that had as little accountability as the Church. “We never even wonder ‘What have we done with all our resources, spiritual and material?’” That’s a fair question on the institutional level, and today’s gospel suggests that it’s not such a bad question for us individually, either.
Friends and family hold me accountable all the time. Why shouldn’t God, whom I love and who loves me, hold me accountable? How am I like the tenants in the parable and the priests and elders listening to it? I wonder how my own self-absorption blinds me to whom God sends my way to collect my life’s fruit, which is God’s after all.
—Fr. Martin Connell, S.J. is a professor of education and Rector of the Jesuit community at John Carroll University, University Heights OH.
Love consists in sharing what one has and what one is with those one loves. Love ought to show itself in deeds more than words.
—St. Ignatius of LoyolaPlease share the Good Word with your friends!