Reflection on Parable of the Vineyard
Today’s readings are all about a vineyard, God’s vineyard. The vineyard is a rich and ancient symbol for wealth, well-being and sustenance. In the Gospel, Jesus tells a parable to the chief priests and elders of the people, about a landowner (God) who gave and did so much to make the vineyard (house of Israel) so complete, and everything was set for a fruitful yield. The landowner left the tenants (religious leaders) in charge, but things did not turn out. The vines were not cooperative, instead yielded wild grapes (violence and injustice of the people). The tenants wanted to be the owners, not just guardians; did not want to share any of the produce, and mistreated all the servants (prophets) who were sent to collect the produce, and did not want to listen or respect the landowner’s son (Jesus) but killed him. Jesus asks the priests and elders, “what will the landowner do to the tenants?” Their answer judged themselves and they were told the kingdom of God will be taken away from them and be given to people who will produce fruits of the kingdom.
This parable applies to us, to all people too. We have been given so much, so many gifts: life, family, work, talents, possessions, all to care for. We should not be selfish or lust for power but be prayerful, be grateful, have compassion, be just, and share our gifts with others, especially love and care. In this way we offer the fruits of our labour back to God. Paul in his letter says, “Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” “I have chosen you from the world, says the Lord, to go and bear fruit that will last” (John 15.16).
– Rosella Kinoshameg DOS