2nd Week of Lent, Friday, 22-03-19

Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28 / Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

Jesus teaches the people

“Hear another parable”
This parable reveals three important points. First, it reveals God’s patience. God gave the tenant farmers three chances, even in the face of violence. Second, it reveals Jesus’ uniqueness. Jesus is not just another prophet, like the other prophets (slaves).
Third, it reveals our accountability. It shows that sooner or later we will be held accountable to God for our actions, just as the tenant farmers (religious leaders) were held accountable for their actions. (ML)
In what ways has God exercised great patience with us, just as he did with the tenant farmers? “Patience is power; with time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes silk.” Chinese proverb
Family feuds are not just something that we see only in movies and soap operas. It happens in real life. We read about it in the papers, we hear about it from friends, it may have even happened to us. One of the main causes of these family feuds is over money and property. Over money and property, children have brought parents to court and vice versa. Over money and property, sibling rivalry can become so ugly that blood relationships can become like dirty water. It had happened from the earliest times in the story of Cain and Abel. It happened between Joseph and his brothers as we heard in the 1st reading. That coat with long sleeves was a symbol of favour and blessing.

Over that coat, Joseph's brothers came up with evil thoughts like murder, and then mugging and then slavery. It was also over money and property that the tenants in the parable of today's gospel resorted to violence and murder.

It can be frightening to know, and even to realize, that money and material possession can have such a destructive grip over us to the extent that we can even lose our sense of integrity and morality.
Hence, the Lenten practice of alms-giving has that purpose of helping us break free from this grip of being money-minded and being possessed by materialism.
The Charities Week envelope is a means of helping us in this Lenten spiritual exercise.Let us see if we can give cheerfully. After all whatever we have is given to us from above, and we are only stewards, not owners. (SY)