The parable of the Landowner
The gospel of Matthew for this day is the parable of the landowner, leasing his vineyard to tenants who then deal treacherously with both slaves and son who come to collect the produce at the end of the growing season. Jesus points the finger at the scribes and Pharisees, who though very thorough in their comprehension and lifestyle of the laws laid down in Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, have forgotten the heart of the law: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.Jesus has been pinging the leaders of the law with their lack of attention to what really counts to live a life fully aware of God’s love and living it toward all who come to them for instruction. They are missing the mark, and Jesus makes sure they know it.
The question for us in relating to this parable is whether we are missing the mark as well. Are we so focused on living a narrow life that we miss the breadth and the radial love of God in Jesus? Each one of us is God’s vineyard and we need to decide whether we will produce good fruit for God or let that vineyard go wild, paying no attention to how God would have us live and love. We all want to hear at the end of our days ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’; some of us will hear ‘I never knew you’ because we are not attending to the life, the vineyard, each of us has been given as a gift and as a treasure.