Then he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the winepress, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed.
And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.Have you not read this scripture:
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is amazing in our eyes’?”
When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In this parable the tenant farmers seem to have completely forgotten that the vineyard is not their own. They did none of the work of establishing it. It was not even the initiative of their own conception. If they have not forgotten, they most certainly deny the reality that they were given the vineyard as a place to live, work, and produce good wine not only for themselves but, even more importantly, for the true owner.
Wine brings joy and love and is meant to be shared. It is a celebratory symbol of all that God has done throughout salvation history to fashion a people for Himself and, through them, bring about complete unity among all people and ultimately peace on earth.
From the beginning, God has done the work of establishing his covenant and will continue to send the Holy Spirit through his son Jesus, to people of good will.
—Jess Charles McGaa serves as Parish Life Coordinator at Sacred Heart Catholic Church Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
Spirit of the Father,
Spirit of the Son,
Spirit of Life that makes us One.
Help us see in one another
Christ our sister,
Christ our brother.