Mt 21: 33-42

In the days before Holy Week, Jesus tells His apostles a parable about tenant farmers who either beats up or kill three sets of servants who were sent by the owner to collect the rent.

They actually kill the only son of the owner. Jesus asks them, “What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do to the tenants when he himself returns to the vineyard?” The parable is about how Jesus Himself was to be treated. He is the only “son”. We are the tenants in the parable.

The disciples reply in a manner in which they themselves would do. What most people in the world today might say. Their answer is that the owner will destroy all the tenants.

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The disciples’ answer reflects what those who really do not understand or know the nature of God, would say. They should have known better because they had already been with Jesus for three years. But their answer indicates that they have not learned anything from Jesus yet.

It is a problem for the modern world as well. We are baptised Christians, but we think and act as if we are not influenced by Jesus Christ at all. Jesus is the perfect image of God Himself. We should take Him seriously.

God gives us a job to do, but He also gives us the means to do it with. The vineyard we receive is complete. Everything is there. He gives us life – a beautiful world. He gives us talents.

The disciples and all of us have a hard time recognizing God, because we have our own ideas about who God is. We can’t see Him, because we think we know what He looks like. We can’t hear Him, because we are so sure that we know what He sounds like and what He must be saying.

St John Chrysostom tells us that only in prayer can we set aside our private thoughts and begin to find God as He Himself is.

That is why the apostles came up with the wrong answer. They had not yet learnt to pray in silence and to listen to God.

God repays sinners, not with vengeance as the apostles suggested, but with forgiveness. That is why Jesus dies on the cross. To save the evil tenants. Jesus acts in a manner which is opposite to what an ordinary human person would expect Him to.

God shows us patience. All He wants is to do is to pay Him back with love and faithfulness. Yet we reject Him again and again.

Who God is, is shown clearly in the parable about the wicked tenants. It is necessary to meditate about this parable.

God is very generous to all of us. God gives us a job to do, but He also gives us the means to do it with. The vineyard we receive is complete. Everything is there. He gives us life- a beautiful world. He gives us talents.

God trusts us. He goes away and leaves everything to us. There is no limit to anything. We have freedom. We have free will.

God shows us patience. All He wants is to do is to pay Him back with love and faithfulness. Yet we reject Him again and again.

God is willing to forgive us, even though we keep sinning against Him repeatedly.

However, there is a warning, despite His love, generosity, trust, and patience.

There is a judgement day for those who do not want to recognize and serve God.

How blessed we would be if we could hear, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”. (Luke 23:34)

It is only in prayer that we can experience that God is present, that He will heal us, save us, and set us free to be with Him in His Kingdom.

Bishop Peter Stasiuk C.Ss.R. AM


33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.

35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.

38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”

41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

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