Lent Day 17

Friday, March 2, 2018

Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

Friends, just before his Passion and Death, Jesus tells the striking story that is our Gospel for today. The fertile vineyard stands for Israel, his chosen people. But it could be broadened out to include the world. What do we learn from this beautiful image? That God has made for his people a place where they can find rest, enjoyment, good work.

We—Israel, the Church, the world—are not the owners of this vineyard; we are tenants. One of the most fundamental spiritual mistakes we can make is to think that we own the world. We are tenants, entrusted with the responsibility of caring for it, but everything that we have and are is on loan. Our lives are not about us.

Christ is God’s judgment. We are all under his judgment. In the measure that we kill him, refuse to listen to him, we place our tenancy in jeopardy. And so the great question that arises from this reading: “How am I using the gifts that God gave me for God’s purposes? My money? My time? My talents? My creativity? My relationships?” All is for God, and thus all is under God’s judgment.

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