Monday, May 30, 2016

Reflection: Mark 12:1-12

Monday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time - Mark 12:1-12

Today’s Gospel reading is the story of a man who planted a vineyard and planted a hedge around it. He also dug a winepress and built a tower. This man must have lived in an area that was not safe. Why else would he plant a hedge around his vines and then build a tower? You only need a tower if you need protection or you desire a view of your surroundings.

Thinking that all was safe, this man leased his fields to tenant farmers and left on a journey. After several months, the owner sent a servant back to his vineyard. This servant was to obtain the owner’s share of the vineyard’s profits. However, the tenants severely beat the servant and sent him back to the owner empty-handed. The owner decided to send a different servant to deal with his tenants. However, the tenants treated this man in the same manner. The owner was extremely frustrated and angry. The master sent several other servants but they all were beaten or killed by the tenants.

At this point, the owner did not know what to do. Eventually he decided to send his own son to deal with his tenants. His reasoning was that the tenants surely would respect his son. However, they did not. The tenants were thrilled that the owner had sent his son. They believed that if the son were dead the owner’s money would be theirs. So the tenants killed the owner’s son. In response to the loss of his beloved son, the father had all of the tenants put to death.

Jesus then speaks of what will happen to “the Father’s Son,” the One who is “the stone that the builders rejected.” Jesus tells his listeners that the very same thing will happen to this Son. Jesus’ listeners were the scribes, the chief priests, and the elders. Through this parable, Jesus was telling them that he realized the path that was before him. He knew what his future held. However, Jesus also tells the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees that His Father (the owner) will come and put the tenants to death for what they have done to his son!

I wonder how his listeners reacted to this parable? How do we respond to all the violence in our world? No matter where we live, we hear of horrific acts that are perpetrated on innocent people. Humankind has not advanced in the past centuries. We hear stories of murder and abuse on a daily basis.

Do we contribute to the violence in our world in major or minor ways or do we consciously strive to create peace in our lives and in the lives of the people around us? I assume that most of us would never think of killing another person; however, do we periodically abuse or bully another person by our words, actions, or indifference? Today may we consciously open our hearts to God’s peace and love and may we share this love and peace with every person we encounter. Today and every day may we be women and men of love and peace. What a great gift to give to our world!

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