The Good News for the day, March 2, 2018

Friday of the Second Week of Lent (234)

Jesus addresses religious and political leaders: “Listen to this story and its point. Once upon a time, a landowner planted a vineyard, planted a protective border around it, installed mechanisms to make wine—even built a watchtower. Finally, he leased it out to tenants and went away on a long journey. When vintage time came around, he sent his employees to the tenants who would get his yield. The tenants, though, seized the employees; one they beat up, another one they just killed, and a third one they got stoned. Well, he then sent some more employees—more than the first ones, but they just treated them the same way. Finally, he sent his own son to them, with the thought: ‘They surely will respect my son.’ When the tenants saw the son, though, they colluded with one another: This is the heir. Come on, let’s kill him and just take his inheritance.’ They grabbed him, threw him outside the vineyard, and killed him. What is the owner of the vineyard going to do to those tenants when he arrives back home?” They answered him, ‘He will put those “bad guys” to a bad death and then lease his vineyard to some other tenants who will give him the yield in due time.” Jesus said to them, ‘Did you never read in the Bible: The stone the builders once rejected has become the cornerstone to build on; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes? As a result, I am telling you that the ‘God’s World’ be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” When leading religious figures and other religious leaders (Pharisees) heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them; although they were attempting to arrest him, they were afraid of the public, the public thought of him as a prophet. (Matthew 21)

Jesus addresses religious leaders—with two takeaways.

First, any of us who consider ourselves religious leaders–models of virtue–in any way need to reflect : Have you or I rejected messengers of God, our Father? You and I take faith seriously, but we may be in danger of not recognizing God’s messengers: persons in need, a broken-hearted soul, a correcting friend or enemy. We may not see disagreement as an angel or prophet coming from our Father to help us in His vineyard.

Second, we are ourselves messengers, berated, shamed, laughed at—sometimes heaped with anger at our stupid ideas and actions. Do you and I see that this is the way the world is going to treat the heirs of the Kingdom? It is the natural consequence of speaking truth, and loving wholeheartedly—it is the Good News to which you are called.— brotherhood and sisterhood with the That Human Child.

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