Father Edward McIlmail, LC
to speak to the chief priests, the scribes, and
the elders in parables. "A man planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it, dug a wine press, and
built a tower. Then he leased it to tenant
farmers and left on a journey. At the proper time
he sent a servant to the tenants to obtain
from them some of the produce of the vineyard.
But they seized him, beat him, and sent him away
empty-handed. Again he sent them another servant. And that
one they beat over the head and treated shamefully.
He sent yet another whom they killed. So, too, many
others; some they beat, others they killed. He had
one other to send, a beloved son. He sent
him to them last of all, thinking, ´They will respect
my son.´ But those tenants said to one another,
´This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and
the inheritance will be ours.´ So they seized him
and killed him, and threw him out of the
vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do?
He will come, put the tenants to death, and
give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this
scripture passage: The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been
done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?" They
were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the
crowd, for they realized that he had addressed the parable
to them. So they left him and went away.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come before you humbly. As
one who has frequently fallen into sin, I am
aware of my weakness. Your great love, though, assures
me that your grace can keep me on the path
Petition:Lord, let me be open to you and
1. Stand Corrected: Being corrected hurts. Being corrected
in public hurts even more. And having one´s whole way
of life corrected — well, that really stings. And
so it must have been for the group of
leaders who approached Jesus. Our Lord, in a not-so-subtle way,
tells them that they are wrong. Wrong about their
self-righteousness, wrong about their narrow reading of Scripture, and
wrong about how they think God works in the world.
This blinded them to the Son of God when
he came among them. We like to think we
would have been different ― we would not have rejected
Jesus, we tell ourselves. Are we so sure? Aren´t
we really like the leaders of Jesus´ time when
we fail to listen to his agents ― a bishop,
a parish priest, a legitimate superior? Have I said
no to Christ lately?
2. "Another Servant" God doesn´t give
up on us after one try. He often sends a
number of messengers into our lives, to draw us
closer to him. Such is the illogic of a Father´s
love. Where do we miss the clues that God
sends us? It could be in something a child says;
a line from a homily; an e-mail from a
friend in crisis ― these are the ordinary means
God uses to reach out to us. Old Testament prophets
faced rejection by the people of God. Have things
changed much? Could I be turning a deaf ear
to a prophet?
3. "This Is the Heir" The tenant
farmers don´t seem very bright. They murder the son in
order to get his inheritance. What father would give
an inheritance to someone who killed his son? It
doesn´t make sense. Then again, sin doesn´t make sense either.
Many times we reject Christ in our life and
then wonder why our prayers to God the Father
go (seemingly) unanswered. What could we be thinking? How often
do I offer up a sacrifice or an act
of charity for a prayer intention?
Conversation with Christ: Let
me live up to the demands of my faith,
Lord. Let me realize that my dignity as a Christian
demands that I try to live a life worthy
of my baptism ― that I not be satisfied living
like everyone else.
Resolution:I will offer up a
decade of a rosary for a family member who is
far from the faith.