Today we hear the Parable of the Tenants in the Vineyard, which according to the people of the lands of the Bible was actually referring to Israel. In the Christian understanding the vineyard refers to the Church.
There is great joy and fulfillment in belonging to and working for the vineyard of which the Lord Himself is the owner and provider of all things. There is joy in watching its rich fruits grow and sharing them with others.
But on the other hand, the wonderful privilege of belonging to and working for the Lord’s vineyard, which is a precious gift that the Lord alone gives, bears significant responsibilities and serious consequences.
God provides all the resources for your personal life, even the very oxygen you breathe and the voice you use, and that you yourself are His gift, too. And belong to Him.
As a baptized Christian, you also belong in a special way to the Lord’s vineyard and are working in it, whether faithfully or unfaithfully. We live in the Vineyard (Church) by the hospitality of God, for He is the host, and we are the guest, who are to use the gifts and resources He has given us “properly”. We are entrusted to care for what we have received and return to God His share of the harvest that we have reaped.
We do not live alone but by being a “tenant”, we are already set in a relationship with God, and will be either a faithful or unfaithful steward according to our deeds or misdeeds as those in this parable who kill and reject His gifts.
This is the essence of the parable, that evil people are punished for their misdeeds, but God’s work in the world goes on because God gives the vineyard over to other faithful tenants who will do what is right and bear a fruitful harvest for Him.