Gospel Matthew 21:33-43

“He will bring those wretches to a wretched end”

Sometimes when reading through the Gospels Jesus drops an absolute clanger. Pondering the text before us we get a sense of why the religious establishment of his time was so keen to get rid of him. He really doesn’t mince words. It is hard to think how he could be more direct.

The parable he tells is damning for those who are in authority. Jesus, in no uncertain terms, communicates to his listeners that their mode of operating is out of keeping with the intentions of God, and that the modes which they have rejected will in fact be the modes by which God will do his work in the world.

It is perhaps tempting to laugh off these harsh words, as though they are not addressed to us – as though they were only meant for to ‘chief priests and the elders’ of Jesus’ day. And while his immediate audience was these men in authority, this message extends to all of us who might have our own preconceived notions of how we might want God to work in our life.

The stone that was rejected by the so-called ‘masters’ was in fact no the one which was to become the keystone. The person rejected by the leaders; who was arrested, mocked, and executed by those who thought they knew the mind of God; that person was in fact the mode by which God was to make himself known to the world. He was the very revelation of the Father and his love.

It seems that God has a particular way of working that exceeds both our preconceptions, and the limits of our comfort.

Let us pray that we will be open to the movement of God’s spirit in even the most unexpected of places.

Points to Ponder

“Faith is born of an encounter with the living God, who calls us, and reveals his love, a love which precedes us, and upon which we can lean for security, and for building our lives.” – Francis, Lumen Fidei, n. 4