June 1, 2015

Gospel MK 12:1-12
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes,
and the elders in parables.
“A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey.
At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants
to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard.
But they seized him, beat him,
and sent him away empty-handed.
Again he sent them another servant.
And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully.
He sent yet another whom they killed.
So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed.
He had one other to send, a beloved son.
He sent him to them last of all, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’
But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’
So they seized him and killed him,
and threw him out of the vineyard.
What then will the owner of the vineyard do?
He will come, put the tenants to death,
and give the vineyard to others.
Have you not read this Scripture passage:
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?”
They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd,
for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them.
So they left him and went away.
In reading today’s gospel, one has to be impressed with the generosity and patience of God.
He gave the tenants everything they needed to produce a good crop and even built a wall so they would be secure.
“At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants
to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard.”
The tenants beat and killed his messengers and His Son, and gave him nothing in return for his generosity and goodness.
God gives me everything I need to produce a good life for myself so that I may be secure.
He doesn’t ask me to give him everything; he only asks for “some of the produce” of my life.
And what is this bit of “produce” that He asks of me?
Evidence of my love for him by making time to talk to him each day.
Evidence of my efforts to assure that others know of him by spreading the Good News of his love and forgiveness.
Evidence of my concern for the poor by giving a bit of my time, talent and treasure.
God gives me so much and asks for so little.
Yet, even when I withhold the little he asks of me, still He sends his Holy Spirit to help and protect me.
“A clean heart create for me, God;
renew within me a steadfast spirit.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.” Psalm 51:12 & 19