THE PARABLE of THE WICKED VINEDRESSERS
(Sunday, September 3)
“Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another…” (Mt 21: 33-35)
Who are what is symbolized by the grapevines and their “fruit,” in this parable? We are; the people of God and our faith, along with other “fruit” we bring forth in communion with Christ, like wisdom, courage, humility, patience, hope, and love. On our paths of salvation, we are always in the process of becoming a better-and-better “wine,” getting better with age, when we are cared for properly and provided the appropriate wineskins (Mt 9:16-17). I love that our Lord uses this Eucharistic image of wine to refer to us, just as He chooses to manifest Himself, His own blood, in wine. Because this draws our attention to the mind-blowing fact that in communion with His Body and Blood, we ourselves, in our own bodies and blood, become nourishing and joy-bringing vessels of His grace. Like wine, which “makes glad the heart of man,” in the words of Psalm 103/104:15, we are given the dignifying capacity to “make glad” others in our midst, when we open ourselves up to being of service in the “vineyard” that is His Church.
Now, just briefly about the vinedressers: We might sometimes have wicked ones, but then our “landowner,” God, provides us with “other vinedressers who will render to Him the fruits in their seasons.” (Mt 21:41) Let us take heart, if ever we find ourselves “leased” to wicked vinedressers, and keep our eyes and faith open to the “others” God sends us, to foster our growth in faith, wisdom, courage, humility, patience, hope, and love for God, ourselves, and one another. Happy Sunday, dear Friends!