9th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 2 P 1:2–7
May grace and peace abound in you through the knowl¬edge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and piety. First the knowledge of the One who called us through his own Glory and Might, by which we were given the most extraordinary and precious promises. Through them you share in the divine nature, after repelling the corruption and evil desires of this world.
So, strive with the greatest determination and increase your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with moderation, moderation with constancy, constancy with piety, piety with mutual affection, mutual affection with charity.
Gospel: Mark 12:1-12
Using parables, Jesus went on to say, “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a hole for the wine press and built a watch tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenants and went abroad.
“In due time he sent a servant to receive from the tenants his share of the fruit. But they seized the servant, struck him and sent him back empty-handed. Again the man sent another servant. They also struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent another and they killed him. In the same way they treated many others; some they struck and others they killed. One was still left, his beloved son. And so, last of all, he sent him to the tenants, for he said: ‘They will respect my son.’
“But those tenants said to one another: ‘This is the one who is to inherit the vineyard. Let’s kill him and the property will be ours.’ So they seized him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. Now, what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”
And Jesus added, “Have you not read this text of the Scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected has become the keystone. This was the Lord’s doing; and we marvel at it.”
They wanted to arrest him for they realized that Jesus meant this parable for them, but they were afraid of the crowd. So they left him and went away.
Jesus once identified himself as the true vine (Jn 15:1ff); he was the best of Israel, God’s beloved. But in this parable he is identified not as the vine but as the son and heir to the vineyard. Mark says, “They killed him and threw him out of the vineyard” (v. 8). But Matthew reverses the order: “they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him” (21:39). Likewise Luke (20:15). They must have been thinking with hindsight about the way Jesus actually died. He was led out of Jerusalem and killed outside the city, not killed inside and then thrown out. How they see Jesus in every detail and every detail in Jesus!
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