Reflection on Mt 21: 33-43, 45-46

Posted by Fr Nelson MCBS on March 6, 2015

REFLECTION CAPSULE FOR THE DAY
(Based on Mt 21: 33-43, 45-46)

An enigma is a considered as a person or a thing that is mysterious or difficult to understand.
The word has its Greek and Latin roots, in words which mean “a riddle” or “a puzzle”.

An enigma has the tremendous capacity to attract followers or to detract the critics.
An enigma has the intriguing potential to captivate its fans or to puzzle its doubters.

When we analyse history and personalities down through the centuries, one can definitely come to a conclusion… that there has been no person who deserves a greater merit to being an “enigma” than Jesus Christ.

The life of Jesus, historically speaking, was a journey from being a semi-skilled Jewish carpenter in a tiny village in northern Palestine to an itinerant prophet, a wonder worker and a social revolutionary… one who confronted the religious and social institutions of his times so radically that he was put to death for it.

The Gospel of the Day presents this “enigmatic” Jesus confronting closed minds and blocked hearts, in recognising Him as the Messiah and Saviour…and an invitation to make a radical choice for Him!

Jesus puts forward the parable of the tenants.
The tenants were entrusted with the vineyard by the Master, and were expected to provide the produce in due time.
They were entrusted fully with the taking care of the vineyard.

The Master places a lot of trust in the servants.
He gives the freedom… a responsible freedom…
…which could be meaningfully used and nurtured
…or which could be woefully misused and manipulated.

However, the tenants, who were trusted immensely…probably lost their focus on the real trust and diminished in their commitment and responsibility to their Master as well as their duty.
• Their personal interests gained greater prominence over their entrusted duties.
• Their selfish agenda gained the upper hand over the faithfulness to the Master.

This led to them to a total denial of all the emissaries and servants of the Master, who were sent to collect the produce.
This denial was extended even to the Master’s own Son!

This denial of the Son led to the letting loose of the anger and fury of the Just Master!

• A squandering away of the responsible freedom, led to the downfall of the tenants!
• A failure to give heed to the emissaries and servants caused them to face the Master’s rage!
• A denial and rejection of the Master’s own Son, with a cruel intent, caused their destruction!

Are we also, as Christians, as tenants of the Heavenly Master failing in our responsibilities and duties?

The Lord presents Himself as the cornerstone…
… “the stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone..” (Mt 21:42)

In ancient practices of building, the cornerstone was the principal stone.
It was placed at the corner of the edifice or the building.

The cornerstone was usually one of the largest, the most solid, and the most carefully constructed of any in the whole building structure.
A cornerstone gives direction to the rest of the foundation.
It also is the support on which the rest of the building relies for strength and stability.

Jesus is the cornerstone…of Salvation.. of the Church.. of His People!

At the same time, Jesus can also be  “a stumbling block”

As it is written in Romans 9:33, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,
And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame”

• To those who believe, Jesus is the cornerstone of their faith and their life.
• To those who do not believe, Jesus is the stumbling block in their faith!

What is Jesus in our life?
The cornerstone? Or a stumbling block?

The cornerstone to build a wonderful life in God and grow in holiness…
Or a stumbling block which causes us to be proud in our own merits and not depend on Him?

The cornerstone to stand firm and strong in faith to withstand every storm of life…
Or a stumbling block which makes us uncertain, hesitant and cause a collapse in life?

Jesus is indeed the greatest “enigma”
• This “enigmatic” Jesus has the tremendous capacity to attract followers or to detract the critics.
• This “enigmatic” Jesus has the intriguing potential to captivate its fans or to puzzle its doubters.

Jesus can remain the “enigma” who will be forever misunderstood or mysterious…
Or He can be the “enigma” which becomes the guiding force for fullness in life!

Let us make Jesus the “cornerstone” of our life and faith!

God Bless!

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