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Ingratitude

For the third week in a row our Gospel has Jesus using a vineyard as the setting for his message. The situation he describes is much more serious than previously; more than struggling to understand God's boundless generosity or the need to respond positively in both word and deed.

This time it looks at what happens when we forget where our gifts come from. The tenants who the owner put in charge of his vineyard are examples of those who have been entrusted with the role of leadership, those who are the chief stewards of God's creation and all it contains. The way they respond to this responsibility, their greed and violence, sadly still has its parallels in today's world. They forget that it wasn't them that built the vineyard; they didn't plant the trees, fence it off, install the press and the tower. So when harvest time comes around they want to keep it for themselves, all of it, and are prepared to go as far as killing the owner's son in order to do so. Jesus is using this parable as a warning and a prophecy to the chief priests and the elders of what he is about to undergo and achieve through his passion, but we see their behaviour even into our own times. Many of those who have power and possession, and we all have some in our own lives, want even more of it for themselves. There is a forgetfulness about who created this world we live in, that it is God's gift to us, a gift that comes with responsibility. In different ways we are all stewards of the gift of creation and should look to use that gift to good purpose, remembering where it came from and be thankful.

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