“They will respect my son” (Matthew 21:37)
“Let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.” (v.38)
The Love of God for us, His creatures, is constant, unwavering and unconditional. God out of love created each of us in His own image and likeness. Adam and Eve were meant to live forever with God in the Garden of Paradise. However, when they disobeyed God and listened to the evil one, the devil, and had fallen into sin, there were definite consequences to this sin of disobeying the Holy Will of God. Man would have to work by the sweat of his brow and would experience death.
God did not leave mankind without the hope of redemption. God promised that He would one day send a Messiah, Redeemer, to deliver us from the clutches of the evil one. God had been preparing His people to be a holy people. God sent Moses to lead the people away from idolatry and to believe in the one, true God. God had given Moses the Ten Commandments to help the Chosen People, the Israelites, to live good and holy lives. These very same Ten Commandments remain at the center of our Faith and are a guide to good moral living.
Moses had led his people to deliverance – freedom from slavery under the Egyptians and freedom from the bondage of sin. The Chosen People crossed the Red Sea unharmed as the pursuit by the Pharaoh’s army was stopped by the hand of God as they drowned in the sea. For forty years the Israelites traversed the desert in search of the Promised Land. Moses had seen the Promised Land from a distance, but did not enter. Aaron, Moses’ brother, would be the one to actually lead them into the Promised Land, the land of milk and honey. There they were to be continually prepared to become the holy People of God from Whom would one day be born the Messiah, the Savior of the world.
The prophets of the Old Testament sought to bring about a metanoia, conversion, a change of heart. The Prophets were the spokesmen of God. They were given a special and unique mission by the Almighty God to fulfil. The Prophets did not speak their own words, but rather they spoke the Word of God. They had a calling from God to fulfill this holy task and they responded “yes.” Their message was one of conversion: turning away from sin and turning back to God. This they did despite the ongoing suffering they experienced from their own people. They were rejected and hated and yet they faithfully completed their God-given task. Some wished to permanently silence them and they stoned the holy men of God, the Prophets, to death.
Despite all this hatred, anger and rejection, God still loved His creatures. In the fullness of time God the Almighty Father sent His Only Begotten to redeem the world from sin. Instead of respecting His Son, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the opponents plotted against Him. They incited the crowd to turn against the One Whom they had just acclaimed as King of Israel in the Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem just days prior. The One Who was totally without sin took upon Himself the sin of the world to open wide the gates to the Kingdom of God, Heaven.
Today’s parable reminds us that we are servants of the Lord God who are to work arduously and bear fruit through our good works. There is absolutely no place for jealousy or anger or hatred in the life of a true-believer, an authentic Christian. In the end we shall see that the holy men and women chosen by God to fulfill His mission and did so faithfully may have been rejected, suffered and even died. Nonetheless, these holy ones of God followed Christ Who was rejected by those of His time but has become the “cornerstone” of the structure. And truly, this is marvellous to behold.
Rev. D. George Worschak