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MARCH 5. LENT. WK. 2. FRI. MT. 21. 33-43

Updated: Aug 28

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people, ‘Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third. Next he sent some more servants, this time a larger number, and they dealt with them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them. “They will respect my son” he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance.” So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They answered, ‘He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him when the season arrives.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures:


It was the stone rejected by the builders

that became the keystone.

This was the Lord’s doing

and it is wonderful to see?


‘I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.’


When they heard his parables, the chief priests and the scribes realised he was speaking about them, but though they would have liked to arrest him they were afraid of the crowds, who looked on him as a prophet.


The central lesson of this reading is found in the phase: “He sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce”; - in that we are being told God is looking to us to provide him with a return, via love and service, for all he has given us.


In the above parable however it is clear; - the tenants wanted to keep everything for themselves; - failing to acknowledge that everything they had had been provided with had been given to them by the landowner!


This certainly has a parallel in today’s modern world, where the prevailing view is we should use all the gifts we have received for our own benefit; - rather than acknowledging we have duties and obligations to the one who provided them?


And in our case the situation is even worse, as not only do we have to acknowledge the gifts of Creation, but we are also indebted to God for our redemption, via the Passion and Death of his only Son on Calvary.


And Christ makes this point in the parable when he says; - Finally he sent his son to them. “They will respect my son” he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance.”


And is this not exactly what we do via Pride, Self-love, and Sin, choosing to kill the Son, rather than heed his call to repent; - and acknowledge his love; - by following his teachings?


Gospel Acclamation John 3:16


Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus Christ!

God loved the world so much, he gave us his only Son,

that all who believe in him might have eternal life.

Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus Christ!


First reading Genesis 37:3-4,12-13,17-28 ·

Let us kill him: then we shall see what becomes of his dreams


Israel loved Joseph more than all his other sons, for he was the son of his old age, and he had a coat with long sleeves made for him. But his brothers, seeing how his father loved him more than all his other sons, came to hate him so much that they could not say a civil word to him.


His brothers went to pasture their father’s flock at Shechem. Then Israel said to Joseph, ‘Are not your brothers with the flock at Shechem? Come, I am going to send you to them.’ So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.


They saw him in the distance, and before he reached them they made a plot among themselves to put him to death. ‘Here comes the man of dreams’ they said to one another. ‘Come on, let us kill him and throw him into some well; we can say that a wild beast devoured him. Then we shall see what becomes of his dreams.’


But Reuben heard, and he saved him from their violence. ‘We must not take his life’ he said. ‘Shed no blood,’ said Reuben to them ‘throw him into this well in the wilderness, but do not lay violent hands on him’ – intending to save him from them and to restore him to his father. So, when Joseph reached his brothers, they pulled off his coat, the coat with long sleeves that he was wearing, and catching hold of him they threw him into the well, an empty well with no water in it. They then sat down to eat.


Looking up they saw a group of Ishmaelites who were coming from Gilead, their camels laden with gum, tragacanth, balsam and resin, which they were taking down into Egypt. Then Judah said to his brothers, ‘What do we gain by killing our brother and covering up his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let us not do any harm to him. After all, he is our brother, and our own flesh.’ His brothers agreed.


Now some Midianite merchants were passing, and they drew Joseph up out of the well. They sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty silver pieces, and these men took Joseph to Egypt.







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