Monday of the Ninth week in Ordinary Time – Mk 12:1-12
Today’s Gospel serves as an excellent reminder of what our lives are about and how God provides us with what we need. Although we’ve probably heard the parable of the tenants before, it helps to examines what Jesus is telling us about God the Father. In particular, we see three characteristics; the Father is generous, He’s trusting, and He’s patient: generosity, trust, and patience.
First, the Father is generous. Notice that Mark tells us that the owner of the vineyard planted it, put in the hedge, dug the press, and build the tower. These things should’ve been done by the tenants, but the owner took care of them. In particular, the tower is a nice detail; not only was it a lookout point for security, but also the place where the tenants could rest and sleep. All the tenants had to do was use and maintain what they had been given.
Secondly, the Father is trusting. He doesn’t send people to spy on the tenants, or ask for progress reports. In a sense, He places Himself at the mercy of the tenants. They do what they want, and the owner trusts that it’s also what he wants.
Lastly, the Father is patient. Time and again the owner sends his servants, only to have them be mistreated. Yet, the owner never ceases trying to reach out to them until they reject His Son.
In our lives, too, God is generous, trusting, and patient. He gives us absolutely everything that we need to become saints. All we have to do is use it well.
The scene from today’s Gospel might be a little dramatic for our daily lives, but we can consider if we really make use of all the things God has given us to get to heaven. This doesn’t include just nice things: it also meaning annoying people who make us practice patience and charity, or temptations that make us firm in our resolve to serve God alone, or suffering that don’t seem to make much sense. All these are gifts of God’s generosity, the hammer blows that form us into saints, if we use them well.
Today, we can ask ourselves how well we make use of the things God permits to come our way. If God trusts Himself to us, do we entrust ourselves to Him?
Let us ask, through the intercession of Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth, for the grace to use all things as scaffolding with which to climb to heaven.