Is 5:1-7 Phil 4:6-9 Matt 21:33-43
Today’s Gospel was centered around the parable of the tenants who refused to give to their landlord the rent he deserved as the owner of the land that they worked.
Jesus didn’t tell us what kinds of workers they were. He doesn’t say if they were diligent or lazy, if theirs was a bounteous harvest or a poor one. He doesn’t tell us anything about them at all except that they were working land they did not own and then murdered or abused anyone sent to remind them that a portion of their success belonged to someone else. Theirs was all of the labor, they seem to reason, so theirs should also be all of the reward.
It’s easy to look at the men in the Gospel from the vantage point of 2,000 years in the future and condemn their actions. Our hindsight of their actions is a perfect 20/20. Yet we do many of the same things. We take the gifts and talents which are merely on loan to us from God, and make the work of our lives out of them. We work hard, or we don’t. We prosper, or we don’t. We are the tenant farmers working in God’s world. Everything we have here is only ours for a brief season, and then it is His once again.
Are we so different from the parable men from centuries ago? Or do we also abuse and defame the men who come to collect what is due to the Master? When our priests talk about tithing and the collection plate is passed, do we pay Him full measure or do we grumble against the messengers and try to get by paying less than is owed? Do we claim all that we have and have achieved as our own triumph, or do we acknowledge the Grace which has made it possible, and give unto God what is due Him?
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