Scripture: 1st Reading: Tobit1,3;2,1-8; Resp. Psalm: Ps112,1-6; Gosp. Accl.: Rev.1,5; Gospel Mark12,1-12
God sheds His glory on our way when we walk with Him. To walk with Him is to follow the path of righteousness. That path is not easy to go through. Yet it is the way that leads to life.
Tobit was a great lover of the God of Israel, his father. Though exiled with the other Jews in Nineveh, he never forgot the ways of God and never allowed the ways and culture of a foreign nation and people to lead his heart astray to turn from the ways of Yahweh.
Tobit feared the Lord and took great delight in His commands. He was a man of justice. He walked in the light of the Lord. He walk in the way of righteousness all through his life; he showed charity and kindness, closeness to and solidarity with the poor. He lived a life without greed; he showed consideration for the needs of the poor and less privileged.
He accorded man the dignity that rightly belonged to him. He buried the dead and gave their bodies the last respect and honour that they deserved. His righteousness landed him in trouble. His good deeds marked him out for persecution. Yet, Tobit persisted in doing good, because he believed spreading goodness was what God called him to.
Tobit was a faithful servant of the Most High God. This type of person is the one our Lord talked about in today's gospel parable about the wicked servants. The point of our Lord in this parable is that the Father has prepared a kingdom, a banquet, a feast that will last forever. He has invited us to that kingdom. Our roles consist in cooperating with Him for the furtherance of that kingdom.
The tenants in today's parable did not just show disrespect and rebellion towards the owner of the vineyard. They wanted to take over the vineyard! To achieve this end, they killed the heir to the property. The ingratitude of these tenants is a metaphor for the ingratitude of man for all that God did for him.
The ingratitude of the tenants in this parable is symptomatic of the deep hatred they had for the owner of the vineyard. It also reflected their own wickedness and godlessness. Our Lord told this parable to warn us against all acts that could be interpreted as rejection of Him and the message of salvation that He brought. The word of God invites us to live and practise righteousness, just as Tobit did.
Let us pray: "O Lord our righteous God, look with kindness upon us. Grant us your grace to be good tenants in your vineyard. Teach us to realize that we shall give accounts of our stewardships. Guide us to live our lives for you." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.