Will we ever learn???

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In 740 BC (that’s almost 3000 years ago!) Isaiah wrote about Yahweh’s vineyard–His Chosen People. He cared tenderly for His vineyard, tending the soil, protecting, fertilizing it with His goodness. While He expected to reap a loving, caring, faithful nation, He was rewarded with “wild grapes.” The goodness that He longed for never materialized. The people were unfaithful and sinful. He even challenged them by asking “What more could I have done to produce good fruit.” The people realized the answer. Nothing! He had given all to them. And so, He says He will make the land a waste. He looked for justice, but there was bloodshed. In 721 BC Israel fell to its enemies. Juda followed, captured by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The Chosen people had lost the land of their inheritance (Canaan).

Fast forward a little more than 750 years later and Matthew has Jesus still talking about vineyards. From the start, Jesus always took His message of salvation to the Jewish people first. No matter what, to our all forgiving Father, they were still His chosen people. So now Matthew is writing about a parable or allegory that Jesus uses to teach. And He is, this time, addressing the leaders of the community. Again, the landowner has instructed his tenants to care for the land and he anticipates a fruitful harvest. He has done all in his power to give them what they need to carry out their job. Now when he sends his servants to collect the fruit, they are tortured by the greedy tenants who hope to capitalize on their production themselves. So he sends his son, who, when the tenants realize is the sole heir, is killed so that they can reap the entire inheritance! So of course, Jesus asks His listeners what will the landowner do with the evil tenants. Obviously, they will not inherit! And now Jesus comes back to His present, telling the chief priests and elders that since they have not accepted the kingdom and did not want to work for His kingdom, it would be taken from them and given to a nation who would produce good fruit.

Again, fast forward another 2000 years. The Kingdom has been saved for Jews and Gentiles alike–anyone who will accept a position in the “Vineyard of the Lord” and work to produce good fruit. He will protect us, and guide us with His Holy Spirit. He will fertilize us with the prophets of our time (pope, bishops, priests, catechists, etc.) All we need to do is accept “the job” with faith and love—-and the Inheritance will be ours!

Have we learned????

Linda Caminiti