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March 18, 2022

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DG BookGospel: Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
Listen to another example: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a fence around it, dug a hole
for the wine press, built a watchtower, leased the vineyard to tenants, and then, went to a distant country. When harvest
time came, the landowner sent his servants to the tenants to collect his share of the harvest. But the tenants seized his

servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Again, the owner sent more servants; but they were treated in the same way.
Finally, he sent his son, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they thought, ‘This is the one who is to
inherit the vineyard. Let us kill him, and his inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
Now, what will the owner of the vineyard do with the tenants when he comes?” They said to him, “He will bring those evil men to an evil
end, and lease the vineyard to others, who will pay him in due time.” And Jesus replied, “Have you never read what the Scriptures say?
The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and we marvel at it. Therefore I say to you:
the kingdom of heaven will be taken from you, and given to a people who will produce its fruit. When the chief priests and the Pharisees
heard these parables, they realized that Jesus was referring to them. They would have arrested him, but they were afraid of the crowd,
who regarded him as a prophet.

 

Reflection:

 

We have stories of victimization today. In the first
reading, Joseph is victimized and expelled by his own family.
In the gospel, the owner’s agents and own son are rejected and
murdered—the story refers to Jesus himself. To the question
raised by Jesus as to the reaction of the owner of the vineyard, the
audience responds in terms of the “law of karma”—They want
the evil men to be brought to an evil end. But Jesus does not
agree. He speaks not of an-eyefor- an-eye, but of entrusting the
vineyard to more responsible people, and of the rejected
stone becoming the cornerstone for a new world! Neither Joseph
nor Jesus takes revenge; both become the cornerstones for
the redemption of the very families that rejected them.
This is why in the early Syrian Christian liturgy, Joseph episode
was a mandatory reading for Easter—Joseph is essentially a
Christological type. What type are you?

 

 

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