March 1, 2013

The Gospel Today

Friday of the Second Week of Lent

Mt 21:31-43, 45-46

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: 

“Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near,
he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
another they killed, and a third they stoned.
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones,
but they treated them in the same way.
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.
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?”
They answered him,
“He will put those wretched men to a wretched death
and lease his vineyard to other tenants
who will give him the produce at the proper times.”
Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures:

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes

Therefore, I say to you,
the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that will produce its fruit.”
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables,
they knew that he was speaking about them.
And although they were attempting to arrest him,
they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.

Reflection (Sem. Rolly C. Teng)

Today’s Gospel speaks of the parable of the tenants. We have four characters in the parable, the landlord, the tenants, servants and the son of the landlord. Commentaries would say that the landlord represent God the Father, servants represent the prophets and the tenants represent the people who rejected and killed the Son of the landlord which is Jesus.

The people during Jesus’ time rejected Him as the messiah and cornerstone. God the Father sent the prophets to remind and tell the people to repent and turn away from sin, but in return they killed the prophets. One of the greatest examples is John the Baptist. John cried out in the wilderness urging the people to repent and turn away from sin but unfortunately people did not listen to him: John was put to death.  Because of love God sent His only begotten Son Jesus to fulfill God’s promise of salvation. Again the people and even the tenants killed the beloved Son.

Nowadays we have priests, bishops and pope to remind us of Christ salvific action. Thus, we need to turn away from our sins in order to welcome Jesus in our hearts.

I remember my experience on the Reproductive Health Bill which was approved few months ago. I would say that the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines spoke the truth regarding this bill. I believed that the Church leaders represented the servants of the landlord but lo and behold the lawmakers did not listen to the voice of the Church, to the voice of God. the lawmakers did not listen to the real voice of the people.

We pray to God, for His mercy and compassion. Let us ask for forgiveness for all the trespasses we have done. Amen

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