Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (21: 33-43, 45-46) in which Jesus tells the parable of the Tenants.
Fr Paul says, Jesus’ understanding of the power or authority of God brought him the violent opposition of some of the Jewish leaders which we hear of today. In the Gospels of Mark and Matthew this parable, not surprisingly, introduces a series of confrontations with the Jewish leaders. The noose is beginning to tighten for Jesus. It makes you wonder, were these leaders corrupt, or were they just closed to any new way of thinking, so closed that they could not see that Jesus was the promised Messiah?
Fr Paul says, Jesus used this story about the tenants of a vineyard to show that they were not leading the people as they should. Everyone Jesus talked to would immediately understand the image of the vineyard. The prophet Isaiah and many others after him had used this image of the vineyard eight centuries earlier.
Fr Paul asks, does this mean we have to follow every new idea? No, but it does mean that we must be open to the idea that we may be wrong, that our service of the Lord may be faulty, that people we find tiresome or unacceptable may have more good in them than we give them credit for. Remembering God’s ways are not our ways, and we need to watch out for the bend in the road.
For today’s reflection, Fr Paul invites us to consider this question: ‘Unlike the Jewish Leaders, am I open to new ways of thinking?’