However we may read today’s Gospel, there is a suggestion that the Kingdom of heaven is on lease to us, temporarily. And that, if we do not nurture that kingdom, it will be taken from us and given to someone else.
The Gospel is a warning to us.
We are asked, specifically, to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, and to broadcast the kingdom in all we do and are. If we fail to do this, then our life’s work is left incomplete.
In each and every one of us is the seed of sanctity. Growing this seed cannot happen passively; it must be nurtured and tended, each and every day. We must, as the vineyard growers do, prepare the soil and cut back the growth to the point that it hurts. Should this not be in our interest, then the wonderful gift that God has given us to enter his dwelling place may not cone to fruition, and we could be cast out from that kingdom.
There is no worse fate than being without the presence of God. So let us work as well as we can to develop the kingdom of God in our hearts, to prune back the ego and our thwarting sense of self importance, and to nurture the love of God which has as it’s heart true humility and peace.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 21:33-43
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people :
‘Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third.
Next he sent some more servants, this time a larger number, and they dealt with them in the same way.
Finally he sent his son to them. “They will respect my son” he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance.” So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’
‘He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him when the season arrives’.
Jesus said to them,
‘Have you never read in the scriptures: It was the stone rejected by the builders that became the keystone.
This was the Lord’s doing and it is wonderful to see?
I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.’
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.