Daily Gospel Reflection – Friday of the Second Week in Lent
Bishop Robert Barron
March 18, 2022
Friday of the Second Week in Lent
Gospel: Mt 21:33-43, 45-46
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey. When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce. But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned. Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way. Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’ They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?” They answered him, “He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times.” Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes? Therefore, I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them. And although they were attempting to arrest him, they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, our Gospel today recounts the parable of the landowner who planted a vineyard and leased it to tenants. God is the landowner, the vineyard is his creation, and we are the tenants, responsible for caring for it.
In Jesus’ telling of the story, the servants that the landowner sent to obtain his produce are the prophets and teachers of Israel, those who remind the people of their responsibilities toward God. But the tenants beat one servant, killed another, and stoned a third.
Finally, the landowner sent his son, expecting the tenants to respect him. So Jesus came, that we might direct the whole of our lives back to God, that we might remember that we are tenants and that the whole of the world belongs to God.
"But when the tenants saw the son . . . they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard and killed him." Here, of course, is the whole tragedy of Jesus’ cross. When God sent his Son to us, we killed him. This is the insane resistance to God’s intentions which is called sin.