Malvern Minute – Friday

March 17, 2017 – Friday of the Second Week of Lent

Saint Patrick, Bishop

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A Reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (21:33-43, 45-46)

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
“Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near,
he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
another they killed, and a third they stoned.
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones,
but they treated them in the same way.
Finally, he sent his son to them,
thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another,
‘This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’
They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?”
They answered him,
“He will put those wretched men to a wretched death
and lease his vineyard to other tenants
who will give him the produce at the proper times.”
Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures:

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?

Therefore, I say to you,
the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that will produce its fruit.”

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables,
they knew that he was speaking about them.
And although they were attempting to arrest him,
they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.

 
Reflect: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. We have two readings today that hit home the truth that we often don’t recognize the blessing in our midst; or, in another way, the Kingdom of God before our eyes. In today’s first reading from Genesis (chapter 37), we encounter the sons of Israel motivated by jealousy and hatred for their younger brother, Joseph, and who sell their brother as a slave to a caravan of Ishmaelites. In the Gospel above, we see that the tenant workers of the vineyard had no respect for the landowner. They wanted the produce and product of the land all for themselves; essentially stealing the work and investment that the landowner had put into developing that vineyard. They killed not only the owner’s servants, but also his own son so that they wouldn’t have to provide any produce to the owner and his family. So Jesus comes into our midst proclaiming the Kingdom of God; manifesting the presence of God. What are we doing?  Do we reject him and his message? May God give us the grace to embrace the Son and the fullness of his message.

 

Questions: Do I make good use of my gifts for the honor and glory of God? Do I utilize the natural resources of the earth respectfully, and with a spirit of sustainability? Do I turn my back on God who is the lavish source of all that I have and all that I am because I’m too busy for God, or because I can manage just fine on my own? Do I want to be spiritual, but dismiss God’s family, the Church, and its sacraments as irrelevant and unnecessary?

 

Pray: Loving God, you are the stone rejected by the builders. Be for me the cornerstone of my life. Provide the grace I need to seek you before all things and to cherish your presence in my life and the world around me. I ask this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son;

So that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life!

Saint Patrick: Pray for us!

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