“THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL BE TAKEN AWAY FROM YOU AND GIVEN TO A PEOPLE THAT WILL PRODUCE ITS FRUIT.” MT 21:33-43, 45-46
Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
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. MT 21:33-43, 45-46
We have all been the Pharisees before. God sent prophets and His own Son to reveal His Will to the world. God wants us back in heaven with Him. Our value, our worth, is so great to the Father that He sent His only Son to shed His blood to fulfill the covenant He promised us. That is radical love.
The Jews rejected the prophets and now Jesus. Fear, hatred, jealousy, pride, selfishness can all deter or distract us from striving to be holy. I know I have fallen in some or all of these areas before. Jesus warns us that the “Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit, ” if we do not repent, become a more loving person, and respond to this radical love with radical love.
The opposite of fear is trust, the opposite of hatred is love, the opposite of jealousy is gratitude, the opposite of pride is poor in Spirit/humility/detachment from worldly goods (God is big I am small, I need God) and the opposite of selfishness is unselfishness or a servant. The Devil brought envy into the world because he wanted the power God had. The opposite of the Devil is humility. When we are proud and don’t kill our ego we make ourselves gods.
Jesus teaches us and models humility. He is the cornerstone the builders rejected. He emptied Himself and became a slave to give His life for the ransom of many. He came to serve, not to be served. He models holiness for us. If we are struggling in one of these areas, we can come to God’s grace, mercy, and love and ask Him to help us repent, change the way we look at life, and grow in holiness.
Jesus teaches us justice today as well, “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.” I don’t know about you, but I need to be held accountable. I need to sweat in line in confession. I need to know that my actions can lead to destruction and ultimately living in hell for all eternity. I need to know that my actions don’t only hurt me but God and others around me.
This is something that has been lost even in our own Catholic faith today. If there is no accountability, everyone lives in mediocrity. It is a staple of our culture today. God’s power that lives in us calls us to so much more. It is the hardest and scariest decision you will ever make, but one with eternal rewards! If it didn’t cost something, it wouldn’t be the Truth!
Today’s challenge: Repent and change your life, grow in holiness by recognizing how much we need God, increase your prayer, love your soul more than your body, and serve others. Take ownership of your actions and forgive, go to confession and set things right with God and others!
Be a servant, become a saint!