Friday of the Second Week of Lent, Year A: 17th March 2017.
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “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.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.
Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
The Gospel depicts the challenges of the message of repentance and its response by the world. God’s love for us is soo deep that he keeps sending people to us in all aspects of our life so that we can come back to him— priests, pastors, friends, family members, enemies even. The message of repentance from our past ways is being preached everyday and we hear it. What loss we will be at if after listening to Christ everyday we fail to respect the Son of God by not turning away from our sins. What shame will be ours if the kingdom of God will be taken away from us because we listened but did not heed to His advice.
God created the world with us in it so that we can grow in love of Him and serve Him faithfully. But we the people of God, misuse the things (and people) meant to bring us close to our Father – we live in sin, we fail to utilize God’s gifts to us and we end up leaving the world in chaos, disregard for nature, wars, hatred among ourselves; the list goes on and on. We as children of God and servants of His Holy Church are given a higher calling today and encouraged to go into the world and make His mercy and salvation known to everyone in our words and deeds bearing in mind that rejection and persecution are bound to come to us in the process of it all.
Christ beckons on us to be cornerstones wherever we may find ourselves through service to God and people. May the light of mercy radiate through us and may people turn back to God as we live a life of holiness worthy of emulation.