Photo illustration by Phil Younk
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Jesus entrusts us with precious seed of faith
Based on Is 5:1-7; Ph 4:6-9; Mt 21:33-43
As in the past two Sundays, Jesus speaks about a vineyard. A vineyard owner rents his vineyard to farmers while he is away on business, asking only that they give him a share of the harvest. At harvest time, the owner sends some servants to collect his share. But the farmers beat one servant, kill another and stone the third.
When the owner sends even more servants to collect his share, they are treated the same way. Finally, the owner sends his own son, thinking they will treat him better. Instead, the farmers seize his son and kill him.
In this Gospel, Jesus helps us to understand that God the Father is like the vineyard owner; the vineyard is Israel; the farmers are the chief priests and elders of Israel; the harvest is the joy, hope and peace of God’s kingdom and his continuing loving care; the servants sent to collect the vineyard’s produce are the prophets; and the vineyard owner’s son is Jesus.
The chief priests and elders of Israel were entrusted with God’s law. But instead of leading the people of Israel to live the right way, they used the law to promote themselves into positions of power. When Jesus came, they rejected his teaching, had no room in their hearts for his message, and killed him.
God, in his everlasting love for us, gives us everything we need to enjoy the riches of his vineyard. Most importantly, he sent his beloved Son Jesus to show us the way.
We’ve been given the precious seed of faith to grow, the help of his grace through the sacraments and the promise of eternal life in heaven. Jesus leaves it up to us to produce a bountiful harvest of love, goodness, joy, hope and peace in our world.