Jesus condemns the evil of the Jewish leadership in the Parable of the Wicked Tenants. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Studiousness so he can build a habit of frequent study of Scripture to draw closer to Jesus Christ and by pursuing the Virtue of Self-control so he more effectively battle against sin and grow in holiness.
9th Week in Ordinary Time – Monday – Mk 12:1-12
After entering Jerusalem for Passion Week, Jesus clashed with the Jewish leadership because they challenged His authority to cleanse the Temple. Jesus responds with The Parable of the Wicked Tenants which rebukes the rebelliousness and wickedness of the Jewish leaders and calls them to repentance.
In veiled terms, the parable reveals that God has given men a fruitful earth and has sent prophets, and ultimately His Beloved Son, to call men to live fruitful lives. God the Father (a man) has given men (tenants) a beautiful Creation (a vineyard with hedge, a tower, and winepress). The Father, who is unseen (goes to another country), sends His prophets (servants) to call men to holy lives (produce fruit). Wicked men (Jewish leadership) abuse (beat, kill) God’s prophets (servants). God the Father (the man) sends His Son Jesus (the beloved son) to attempt to convert men, but wicked men (Jewish leadership) kill Jesus (the beloved son), seeking to rule the world (get the inheritance). Jesus reveals severe judgment inevitably comes to evil men who reject Him and His Holy Catholic Church: God (the owner) will come and destroy evil men (the wicked tenants) and give the Church (vineyard) to the faithful.”
Jesus quotes the 1000-year-old scripture of the “cornerstone” (Ps 118:22-23), which cryptically refers to His Resurrection and the building of His Holy Catholic Church. The Jewish leaders fail to recognize Jesus as the Christ, but do realize He is condemning them in the parable. In Matthew’s version (Mt 21:33-46), Jesus ominously warns that destruction (broken to pieces, crushed) will come to those who reject Him. Cowardly, afraid of the crowd, the Jewish leadership temporarily abandon their plan to arrest Jesus, and slink away to scheme about how to murder Jesus.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by how Jesus, the Divine Prophet, uses this parable: He constructs the parable with Divine Prudence to warn and condemn corrupt Jewish priests, speaking indirectly so to avoid premature capture; He so masterfully uses Pathos (a form of Reason that speaks to the heart) the unwitting priests are moved to condemn the unjust characters in the parable, condemning themselves (Mt 21:41); Divine Justice, Jesus confirms the requirement of producing spiritual fruit and the condemnation of the corrupt priests and bluntly Warns wicked sinners will receive brutal destruction (Mt 21:44).
Frequently study Scripture to draw nearer to Jesus
Realize: God deliberately speaks of the Church in symbolic language (a vineyard, a sheepfold) to help men more deeply understand and remember His teaching.
Believe: Review how God uses Symbols of the Church (CCC 753-757).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Word, help me build the Virtue of Studiousness (a part of Temperance) so I have a deep hunger to understand Scripture and I have a disciplined regular habit of prayerfully studying Scripture to grow in understanding and draw ever closer to You.
Build self-control to battle sin and seek holiness
Realize: Today, a false mercy is widely preached which ignores sin and promotes the presumptuous lie that even those in unrepentant mortal sin will be received into Heaven; Jesus purposefully gave The Parable of the Wicked Tenants to warn men of the just and devastating punishment of those who are evil and unrepentant in mortal sin.
Believe: Reflect upon Mortal and Venial Sin (CCC 1849-1876) and your coming Judgment (CCC 678-682, 1021-1022, 1038-1041).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Judge, help me build the Virtue of Self-Control (a part of Temperance) so I have the discipline to battle, reject, and repent from my sins, and zealously practice the faith and receive Your constant help in the Spiritual Combat.