Tend the vineyard and share its fruit

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For 13 March 2009, Friday of 2nd week of Lent, based on Matthew 21:33-43,45-46

Matthew 21:33-43,45-46

Jesus said: ‘Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watch-tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, “They will respect my son.” But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.” So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They said to him, ‘He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.’

Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures:
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is amazing in our eyes”?
Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.


Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thomas McCarthy was born in 1953, and took the habit of the Order of Preachers in 1971. After post-graduate studies in Rome, after his priestly ordination, he taught theology (patristics and dogmatic theology) in the House of Studies of the Irish Province of the Order, as well as at Milltown Park in Dublin. From 1996 to 2002 he served as Secretary General of the Order, residing in Santa Sabina in Rome and serving first with Timothy Radcliffe and then Carlos Azpiroz Costa. After a sabbatical year, Thomas worked with Dominican Publications from 2003 to 2016, editing Religious Life Review. He served then as prior in the Irish Dominican priory in Rome, San Clemente, and now resides in the priory in his home city, Galway, where he assists in the chaplaincy work at the University. Thomas has directed choirs in different places and has worked since 1986 with RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, as commentator and translator for Papal events (notably at Christmas and Easter) and for broadcasts from different European cities of Eucharist on major occasions.