“They will respect my son.”

In the gospel passage for this day (Mk 12:1-12) Jesus addresses the Parable of the Vineyard to the chief priests, scribes, and elders.  In this parable, Jesus speaks of a vineyard owner who leases his land out to tenant farmers.  After coming back from a journey the owner sends servant after servant to get lease payments but each is mistreated, sometimes even killed.  Finally, sending his son (see the headline), the son is killed as well.  This will cause the owner to kill the tenants and find other lessees.  Knowing that this was addressed to them (i.e., the bad tenants), the chief priests, scribes, and elders wanted to arrest Jesus but they feared the crowds so they simply left.  These Jewish leaders realized that Jesus was speaking of the long history of their ancestors who, almost without exception, maltreated God’s prophets just as they will ultimately have God’s Son tortured and killed.  It is easy to look down on these hard-hearted men and consider them with scorn.  But what have we learned in two thousand years of the New Covenant?  How well is the Son respected?  We live in a society — and world — that continuously looks to push God out of the public square and even mock those who hold their beliefs privately.  But how did things get this way?  “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Burke?)  Let us not contribute to the apathy, or even hostility, of society toward our Faith.  Rather, “Repent (i.e., reform your life), and believe in the gospel” (Mk 1:15).  Fully embrace this and the Holy Spirit will inspire others to do the same through your example.

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