The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
Do you ever feel cut off or separated from God? Joseph was violently rejected by his brothers and sold into slavery in Egypt. His betrayal and suffering, however, resulted in redemption and reconciliation for his brothers. “Fear not, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:19-20). Joseph prefigures Jesus who was betrayed by one of his own disciples and put to death on the cross for our redemption. Jesus came to reconcile us with an all-just and all-merciful God. His parables point to the mission he came to accomplish – to bring us the kingdom of God.
Parable of the vineyard
What is the message of the parable of the vineyard? Jesus’ story about an absentee landlord and his not-so-good tenants would have made sense to his audience. The hills of Galilee were lined with numerous vineyards, and it was quite common for the owners to let out their estates to tenants. Many did it for the sole purpose of collecting rent.Why did Jesus’ story about wicked tenants cause offense to the scribes and Pharisees? It contained both a prophetic message and a warning. Isaiah had spoken of the house of Israel as “the vineyard of the Lord” (Isaiah 5:7). Jesus’ listeners would have likely understood this parable as referring to God’s dealing with a stubborn and rebellious people.
This parable speaks to us today as well. It richly conveys some important truths about God and the way he deals with his people. First, it tells us of God’s generosity and trust. The vineyard is well equipped with everything the tenants need. The owner went away and left the vineyard in the hands of the tenants. God, likewise trusts us enough to give us freedom to run life as we choose. This parable also tells us of God’s patience and justice. Not once, but many times he forgives the tenants their debts. But while the tenants take advantage of the owner’s patience, his judgment and justice prevail in the end.
Gift of the kingdom
Jesus foretold both his death on the cross and his ultimate triumph. He knew he would be rejected and be killed, but he also knew that would not be the end. After rejection would come glory – the glory of his resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father in heaven. The Lord blesses his people today with the gift of his kingdom. And he promises that we will bear much fruit if we abide in him (see John 15:1-11). He entrusts his gifts and grace to each of us and he gives us work to do in his vineyard – the body of Christ. He promises that our labor will not be in vain if we persevere with faith to the end (see 1 Corinthians 15:58). We can expect trials and even persecution. But in the end we will see triumph. Do you serve the Lord Jesus with joyful hope and confidence in his victory and gift of abundant life?
“Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits which you have given us – for all the pains and insults which you have borne for us. O most merciful redeemer, friend, and brother, may we know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, for your own sake.” (prayer of St. Richard of Chichester, 13th century)
The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
LET’S EAT RIGHT
“They took him and threw him into the cistern, which was empty and dry. Then they sat down to their meal.” Genesis 37:24-25
The hardness of the human heart is fully portrayed in today’s readings. The brothers of Joseph moved quickly and easily from cold-blooded plotting of their brother’s death, to throwing him in the cistern to die, to sitting down to eat their dinner. It’s no different today, as an abortionist and his attendants can murder multiple babies in a day’s work, and then head out to a restaurant to enjoy their supper.
Sadly, this even happens in the Church. Catholic politicians, newscasters, and voters repeatedly cast their ballots and opinions for death, and then sit down in the pew at Sunday Mass for the eucharistic meal. Couples contracept and chemically abort their children and then sit down in the pews to eat the eucharistic meal.
St. Paul commented on partaking in the Eucharist unworthily. He stated: “Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!…This means that whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup unworthily sins against the body and blood of the Lord. A man should examine himself first; only then should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Cor 11:22, 27-28). Otherwise, we put “a judgment on” ourselves and make ourselves “sick and infirm” (1 Cor 10:29-30).
“Be earnest about it, therefore. Repent!” (Rv 3:19)
Prayer: Father, I repent and accept Your offer to make things right (Is 1:18). Cleanse me of my sins and make me holy. Promise: “The Stone Which the builders rejected has become the Keystone of the structure.” Mt 21:42 Praise: Sharon could not walk without a scooter for over a year. Jesus healed her legs at a healing service. She could not see to drive. Jesus healed her eyes a few months later, and now she can read perfectly and drive. She witnesses to His power to all. (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015.
Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements