The story of the wicked, wretched tenants is an allegory of salvation history, is it not? God, the owner of the vineyard, left His people in the care and protection of religious and political leaders. Their responsibility was to bring the people to fruitfulness in knowing, loving and obeying God so they might continue to enjoy His love and protection. From time to time, God sent His prophets to remind the people of this purpose, but the prophets were abused, rejected, and even murdered. Finally, God sent His Son, but He too was reviled and put to death.
Jesus’ mission on earth was to form the church, a new people of God. United by submission and obedience to the Father’s will, they would live out the fullness of God’s life and love, and would one day enjoy the eternal inheritance promised to all the faithful. We are often like the tenants who sought by devious means to obtain the owner’s inheritance, and thus we become our own lord and master. There is a pride in the human that spurs us to take control of our lives and seek fulfillment apart from God and obedience to Him.
God’s earnest desire is that the members of His church listen to and commit their lives to His Son as we hear God’s Word in prayer, scripture, and celebration of the liturgy. It is only through Jesus and in union with Him that we can recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit. Thank God in prayer for the love He offers us in Jesus and for the intimacy to which He calls us as members of His church. Ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life so that–living in Him and for Him–we may be faithful to God, know the peace and glory of His favor and protection, and return to Him the fruit that is His due.
God love you always.