The Bible, from the first page on, teaches us that the whole of creation is for humanity, that it is men and women’s responsibility to develop it by intelligent effort and by means of their labor to perfect it, so to speak, for their use. If the world is made to furnish each individual with the means of livelihood and the instruments for growth and progress, all people have therefore the right to find in the world what is necessary for them. - Populorum Progressio (“On the Development of Peoples”), Pope Paul VI, 1967, #22.
Gospel Text: (MK 12:1-12)
Jesus began 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.
What kind of tenants are we? Those who work hard or those who get annoyed when the master sends his servants to collect the rent from us? We may oppose those in charge of helping us give the fruits God expects. We may object to the teachings of the Holy Church and of the Pope, the bishops, or perhaps, more modestly, those of our parents, our spiritual director, or a good friend of ours who is trying to help us. We may even become aggressive, and try to wound them or even kill them through criticism and negative comments. We should examine ourselves about the real motives of such an attitude on our part. Maybe we need a deeper knowledge of our Faith; maybe we need a deeper knowledge of ourselves, a better examination of conscience to discover the reason why we do not want to produce fruits.
Let us ask Our Mother Mary to help us work with love under the guidance of the Pope. We can all be “good shepherds” and “fishers” of men. «Let us (…) ask the Lord to help us to bear fruit, a fruit that abides. Only thus is the earth transformed from a vale of tears into a garden of God» (Benedict XVI).