Jesus told his disciples this Parable:
A Landowner planted a vineyard, rented it out to tenants and went off on a long journey. When harvest time approached he sent his servants to collect a portion of the harvest as rent but, one-by-one the tenants, beat, stoned or killed them. Then he sent his only Son to collect the produce, thinking they would respect him! The tenants, on seeing the Landowners Son, the future heir to the vineyard, killed him in the false belief that they would gain ownership of the produce and land.
When Jesus had finished telling the story he asked his disciples, “What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?”
As with all of Jesus’ parables, they deliver a message through each of the characters. So, who did the characters represent in this parable?
The Landowner: God the Father
The Servants: Prophets such as John the Baptist who preached a message of repentance and Baptism before he was killed by Herod.
The Landowners Son: Jesus, who was rejected and killed.
The Tenants: The people of this world, you and me!
To summarise its meaning, God sent many Prophets into this world. Some we sent away empty-handed, others we beat or killed; the people of this world didn’t listen to their teachings. When God sent his only Son, we similarly rejected, tortured and crucified him.
The ending to the parable asks us the question, “What will God the Father do to the tenants, the people of this world, you and I when He comes on Judgement Day?” (Matthew 21:33-36, Mark 12:1-12, Luke 20:9-19)
The tenants hadn’t planned on Jesus rising from the dead and returning to judge mankind!
Lord God Almighty, you sent your beloved Son so that I could be saved, be merciful to me a sinner.
Prayer: Abandonment (Charles de Foucauld)
Father, I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you;
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve
and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father.