“A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey.” – Mark 12:1
The parable has God as the owner of the vineyard. The tenants are the people of Israel. The servants are the prophets. Jesus himself is the son. And the other tenants are the Gentiles to whom the good news would be proclaimed and by them accepted.
There are so many angles to focus on in this teaching, let us concentrate on what we can tell us about God himself.
First, God gives us everything we need to succeed in this life because of his generosity. He makes ready the vineyard with everything it would need to easily cultivate and profit from the work. How can we look around us and see equal generosity of God in our lives?
Second, God believes in us, giving us freedom to run our lives as we choose. Like the landowner, he seemingly is at a distance and leaves us in our freedom, trusting us to make our daily choices.
Third, God is ever patient, almost to a fault. How many times does the owner of the vineyard send servants to collect his share of the harvest? The parable reports three, and many others. Time and time again, God gives opportunity for us to turn to him. He deals with us patiently, much more than we deserve.
Lastly, God’s justice will be victorious. The tenants take advantage of the owner’s absence, thinking that he is too far off to do anything. Perhaps they thought the owner was dead and the son was now the owner, thus killing him would leave the land open to others. Sometimes we may think that God is far away, sleeping, or others fall into error thinking he does not exist. Through all of it, God bears patiently with us, awaiting the proper time where he will come to restore justice, where he will “…put the tenants to death, and give the vineyard to others.”
How are we doing with what God has given us for our success? Do we use the freedom that we are given to act on the behalf of the divine Vineyard Owner? When he comes to collect his portion of the harvest, will we be found wanting? Or will we push him away?
Let us ask the Lord to grant us the grace work diligently in our daily events, that when he comes, he will find us ready to accept him, and be united to him in the great harvest when he comes in triumph.
May God Bless you.