by John Morton
"There are many who sow evil, and live a life of pleasure, never suffering in this world the justice they deserve. Are we to believe that they get away with these crimes? No. Our consolation for wrongs against us, for wrongs against God, is that they will be judged, that all wrongs will be made right."
Fully Alive’s Lenten Scriptural Commentary helps Christians get more out of Lent by taking God’s word seriously.
Mostly avoiding personal stories and anecdotes, our commentary dives deeply into the scripture readings for each day and applies them to the broader context of Lent. We use the daily Mass readings from the Catholic lectionary.
If possible, read each passage slowly, taking in each word. If you find that you’ve hurried through a reading, read it over a few more times. Let the words reverberate in your heart. After you’ve let it sink in, read our Lenten Scriptural Commentary.
Friday of the Second Week of Lent
In the Old Testament reading today we hear of Joseph, rejected and sold into slavery by his own brothers out of jealousy. And in kind, we hear in the Gospel of the parable tenants, how they threw out and killed the messengers, and even the son, out of the vineyard owner. Apt analogies for the history of the Israelites and their relationship with God and his prophets.
Readings: GN 37:3-4, 12-13A, 17B-28A / MT 21:33-43, 45-46
Click here to read the complete text from the USCCB website
“What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?”
They answered* him, “He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times.”
Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the scriptures:
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes’?
(cf. MT 21:40-42)
It is dangerous to think we own this world. We must recognize our place, recognize that we are but tenants.
God granted our very existence. Our continued existence is sustained by God alone. Are we being good tenants? Are we caring for the world, for ourselves? Are we offering to God that which rightly belongs to God?
Do we reject His word, His grace? Do we reject His son as the tenants of the vineyard rejected the son of the owner?
If we refuse to listen to him, to Christ, and if we refuse to do all we can for God, then we are no better than those tenants, and we will reap what we sow.
Doom and gloom? Yeah, I guess so. But it is true and we have been duly warned. This is the righteous justice of God, that we should judged by our actions.
What is the alternative? That we do not reap what we sow? There are many who sow evil, and live a life of pleasure, never suffering in this world the justice they deserve. Are we to believe that they get away with these crimes? No. Our consolation, for wrongs against us, for wrongs against God, is that they will be judged, that all wrongs will be made right.
So yes, on one hand, doom and gloom. But on the other, hope.
John Morton is a writer, historian, and theologian from Minnesota. He founded Fully Alive with Erik Ritland in 2017. In addition to writing articles, he is also the podcast co-host and social media content strategist.
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Erik Ritland received his MA in Theology in 2017. He's the founder and content manager of Fully Alive Christian Media and Rambling On, copy editor and writer for Music in Minnesota, and an acclaimed songwriter.