REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
October 4, 2020
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“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.” Matthew 21:37-39
In the parable of the tenants, the tenants rebelled against the owner of the vineyard and took possession of the vineyard as if it belonged to them. They refused to recognize the rights of both the owner and his son. The high point of the parable was the killing of the son of the owner of the vineyard in order to acquire the inheritance. This suggests a desire to appropriate to themselves his authority.
The parable was directed to the chief priest and the scribes. They are being accused not of failing to recognize the authority of Jesus but seeking to destroy him just because they do not recognize Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus is accusing them of profound evil and malice in seeking to appropriate to themselves his authority over the vineyard.
The parable of the tenants also highlights God’s patience, mercy, infinite goodness and love. In the parable, the owner of the vineyard leased the vineyard to the tenants with the expectation to get the produce at vintage time. But out of greed and malice, they not only killed the servants sent to the but the son of the landowner with the hope of possessing what was not their own.
Like the tenants in the parable, because the chief priests and elders of the people were unproductive, the vineyard was then given to others. We Christians today are the new tenants of the vineyard. God has given us a fertile and good vineyard to work. Are we working honestly and devotedly for God’s glory?
Reflect, today, upon any situation in which you find yourself where you come face to face with evil and malice of appropriating what is not your own. Learn from this parable that there are many times in life where rationality wins out. But there are sometimes when the powerful wrath of God is the only answer. When evil and malice is “pure” it must be confronted in a direct way with the strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Seek to discern between the two and don’t be afraid to name evil and malice for what it is when it is present.
Lord, give me wisdom and discernment. Help me to seek rational resolutions with those who are open. Give me also the courage I need to be strong and forceful with Your grace when it is Your will. I give my life to You, dear Lord, use me as You will. Jesus, I trust in You.