Lenten Meditation: Friday, March 10, 2023
Jesus’ parables are not allegories. We would be mistaken to think that everything in the story means a particular other thing.
Today, Jesus tells us the parable of a group of tenants who tended a vineyard for a landowner. At harvest time, they refused to give the owner’s son his father’s portion of the produce. Instead, they killed the son.
Jesus’ listeners concluded that the vineyard owner would have every right to execute those tenants and turn the vineyard over to trustworthy tenants.
Jesus then says, “The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.”
If I were a Jew living in Jesus’ time I might ask, “Is he talking about us Jews? Are we unworthy tenants in the vineyard God has given us?” But I am not a Jew, and this is not Jesus’ historical time. So, I find myself asking, “Is he talking about me? Am I an unworthy tenant? Are we Christians the unworthy tenants?”
Jesus says to us, “The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.”
People who are not “us” are producing “the fruits of the kingdom” in ways we aren’t. They, just like us, are heirs of the kingdom of God. Today, look for signs of God’s reign taking hold thanks to the cooperation of people we don’t think of as “us.” Give thanks for God’s work, not only in the Church, but beyond it.