This Sunday, the Gospel Lesson is from Matthew Chapter 21:33-42, the Parable of the Tenants in the Vineyard.
This gospel gives us a glimpse of what Jesus thought about evil deeds and their consequences. It is the story of the wine grower and the wicked workers in his vineyard, who beat, stone and kill their Master’s servants and even his heir.
This is significant for it gives us a transparent allusion to the death of Christ and the revocation of the Jews privilege under the Old Covenant, for as it says in scripture, “did you not read in the Scriptures: the stone which the builders rejected, the same became the head of the corner”.
Basically this parable concludes that evil persons are punished, but God’s work in the world (Vinyard) goes on because God gives the Vineyard over to other faithful servants who will nurture and care for it. To make this parable more pertinent to us as Orthodox Christians, we by our baptism and chrismation belong in a special way to the Lord’s Vineyard and are working in it, faithfully or unfaithfully. It behooves us to become more fully aware that we live by the gracious hospitality of God, that He is the Host and we are the guests, so that we will use the talents and resources which He has given us properly.
So the question becomes what do we do as tenants or stewards of God’s gifts give in return to God as His, “share of the harvest?” You see a Christian by our baptism is already set in a relationship with God, for we do not live alone, being good or bad, ethical or unethical, being proven a faithful or unfaithful steward according to our deeds.
Therefore, be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave, be strong and do all your work in the Vineyard in love and harmony and care for what has been entrusted and gifted to us by the grace of Our Lord.