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Lenten Reflection: Day 17
Gospel, Matthew 21:33-43; 45-46
The Kingdom of Heaven was conceived as the most unutterable and hallowed thought in the heart and mind of God. It was manifested most creatively and munificently in every visible and invisible substance and spirit created by God. This creation was like the ultimate vineyard which bore the fruit of immeasurable love and joy. Peace in this vineyard was not a realm or virtue to be sort. This realm that God gifted to man and let him have dominion over it, was hand-made by God, therefore it carried the image of Himself and one of the essence of this image is peace. So, peace was a given, and man lived oblivious to fear, worry, anxiety or want. Everything was given unto him and every creature submitted to him. God was the eternal caretaker of this vineyard, bestowing upon it His eternal countenance. God did not just leave it at this. He entrusted the responsibility of flourishing this vineyard in the hands of Adam and Eve. But fooled by the vice of Satan, the vineyard was stricken by great upheaval, the consequence of which changed the course of ‘all creation’.
In today’s Gospel Jesus in His another parable, speaks of also of a vineyard. The owner of which let tenants care for it and cultivate it to bear much fruit, so that when the time comes to receive his just returns (fruit of the winepress), he will obtain it as well as find the vineyard well taken care off. However, the parable shows that all those who were sent by the landlord to collect the produce, were beaten up, stoned and killed. They did not spare even the landlord’s son. He too was killed. So, the landlord brought an ‘end’ (terminate evil) and gave the vineyard to those tenants who would be virtuous and sincerely accountable in their ‘business’ with the landlord. God as well, gave us a winepress – Jesus, He made us His branches. But the Evil One is constantly devouring this winepress and causing much harm and suffering. Thos who are called by The Lord to care and cultivate the culture of life in the winepress are beaten and killed. ‘The Son’ wasn’t spared either.
Therefore my friends, as we, in baptism, we are called to be caretakers of our lives and the world in which we live in. This life and the universe (not just the known world) are given to us by the eternal owner of it all, God. We are accountable to be righteous and just caretakers. We are liable to our carelessness and mishandling. We are answerable to Him when He asks of our produce (words and deeds of kindness, love and mercy).
If we continue to persecute those who strive hard to bring The Good News, serve the least among the people, spread peace and love, so-much-so that we do not even hesitate to kill Christ every day, either in the person of others who bear Him or by words and deeds of sacrilege towards sacraments and sacramental, then we are as good as those tenants who upon whom the wrath of the landlord will fall unceasingly, taking away everything that was given to them, and given to those whom God will hand pick according to their righteousness and obedience to His guidance and expectation.