God So Loved The World, That He Sent His Only Son
In today’s Gospel Jesus compares the vineyard owner to God. The landowner repeatedly sent his servants, in order to collect his share of the crop. Yet the servants were beaten and even killed. Then as a last resort, the owner’s son is sent as well, but he too was tortured and killed.
The parable points also to others signified by the various characters: the leaders of God’s people who rejected the prophets, the suffering and rejection of the prophets, and of Thrust himself. Jesus is the son sent by the owner of all creation. As we remember at every Mass, like the son in the parable, Jesus was killed. However, he was not a passive victim, but offered himself for us.
The offering of Christ which becomes present on the Altar at Mass, tells us that God does not react with violence. Even though Christ was tortured and killed, and even the wounds remained with him after the resurrection, the love of God in Christ transformed such horrendous evil into saving power for us.
Although the forces of evil intended to destroy the Son of God, yet God made him the corner-stone of a new creation --the Body of all the saints. Jesus himself quotes the Old Testament saying: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes.”
The Gospel means “Good news” and the good news is that we are entrusted with this message of forgiveness and reconciliation. Despite our past refusal of God through our actions, God will not act against us, but patiently and to the end become vulnerable to our response.
Violence rages through some of our cities, and violent speech is portrayed even in presidential debates. Rather than reacting with incendiary remarks or gestures in our own life in the polarized climate in which we live, how can each one of us freely respond to God’s gracious love in our lives?
God bless, Fr. Carlos, OSA