GN 37: 3-4, 12-13A, 17B-28A
PS 105: 16-17, 18-19, 20-21
MT 21: 33-43, 45-46
During Lent, I usually find myself rather reflective, which often turns into me asking a lot of questions of God through prayer. Sometimes these are questions out of curiosity, sometimes out of frustration, sometimes simply seeking to learn. In reading today’s text of the parable of the vineyard and tenants from Matthew 21, I find ample opportunity to ask questions!
At the first reading (or maybe the fourth, fifth, or sixth read-through!), I’m left with a lot of questions—who do the servants, tenants, and landlord represent? What is Jesus’ point here? What am I supposed to take from this passage? Which people in the parable might I be reflecting in my life right now?
As I understand it, Jesus uses this parable to talk to Jewish religious leaders of the time (demonstrated here as the tenants) and it seems he shows them where they are rejecting prophets (represented by the servants sent to the tenants) God has sent to teach. When they don’t seem to get it, Jesus says to the religious leaders, “The Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit” (Matthew 21: 43).
Harsh words? Potentially, yet Jesus’ invitation is the same today—be a people that will produce fruit. What does this mean for us? How are we leading lives that share the good news of Christ with others and invite them to know God? Where might we be rejecting that which God is setting forth for us? How might we seek to understand?
Clearly, my reflections usually end up with more questions than answers. However, these questions invite me into a greater depth of faith. Asking questions can be tough. By the very nature of questions, I must admit that I don’t have the answers, something I think we, as humans and in today’s culture, sometimes find hard to do. Yet, a willingness to engage with questions can provide interesting insights and opportunities to grow in faith. So, I invite you into reflection this Lenten season and to ask questions!
Becky Carlson is a Career Development Specialist with Career Services in the Student Success Center.