Then he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country.When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.Have you not read this scripture:
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is amazing in our eyes’?”
When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.
How much better are we, at listening to the Word of God, than the Pharisees? God sends various people into our lives, often not who we would expect, to challenge and enlighten our consciences. Do we even recognize them when they come? Do we welcome God’s messengers or do we attack them? Do we rationalize and justify ourselves, as to not have to take on the challenge or change our thinking? If the Word of God is not challenging and enlightening to our life, we probably need to listen more carefully.
—Chris LaMothe teaches theology at Jesuit High School in New Orleans.
Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.
—1 Samuel 3:10
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