Gospel: Mt 21:33-43, 45-46
Listen to another example: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a fence around it, dug a hole for the wine press, built a watchtower, leased the vineyard to tenants, and then, went to a distant country. When harvest time came, the landowner sent his servants to the tenants to collect his share of the harvest. But the tenants seized his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned a third.
Again, the owner sent more servants; but they were treated in the same way.
Finally, he sent his son, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they thought, ‘This is the one who is to inherit the vineyard. Let us kill him, and his inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
Now, what will the owner of the vineyard do with the tenants when he comes?“ They said to him, “He will bring those evil men to an evil end, and lease the vineyard to others, who will pay him in due time.“
And Jesus replied, “Have you never read what the Scriptures say? The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and we marvel at it. Therefore I say to you: the kingdom of heaven will be taken from you, and given to a people who will produce its fruit.
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard these parables, they realized that Jesus was referring to them. They would have arrested him, but they were afraid of the crowd, who regarded him as a prophet.
The Green-Eyed Monster
“O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster“ sayeth Shakespeare’s Iago to Othello. Out of jealousy Iago plots the murder of his friends, and out of jealousy Othello murders his wife, Desdemona. Indeed, jealousy is a dangerous passion as it poisons the heart of man and drives him to do dastardly deeds!
The brothers of Joseph were so jealous of the him that they eventually got rid of him by selling him for 20 pieces of silver, the price of a boy slave! They were jealous of the love of their father Jacob had for Joseph. Jacob will lose his beloved son, Joseph, because of the jealousy.
Joseph’s experience was a prophecy. Jesus, the true beloved Son of the Father, would also be sold. The jealous brothers of Joseph will, in the time of Jesus, be the jealous and malicious tenants in the parable of Jesus in today’s Gospel. Out of jealousy the priests and Pharisees will plot the death of Jesus. They will be ably assisted by one of the 12, Judas, who will sell his Master for 30 pieces of silver, the price of an adult slave!
Be careful, then with the green-eyed monster called jealousy! Jealous persons can become so consumed with this green-eyed monster as to sell even their own loved ones. Beware!