June 2, 2008
Monday of the ninth week in ordinary time
Mark 12: 1-12
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders in parables. "A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey. At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another servant. And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully. He sent yet another whom they killed. So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed. He had one other to send, a beloved son. He sent him to them last of all, thinking, 'They will respect my son.' But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they seized him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come, put the tenants to death, and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this scripture passage: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes'?" They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd, for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them. So they left him and went away.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe and accept that you have placed others by my side so that I may love you in loving them. I believe that I am a part of your solution to the lack of love in the world. I will reflect on this during the day so that your word will continually transform me.
Petition: Lord, help me to discover how beautifully you work with souls. Those near you knew that you loved them. They came looking for you and for your love. You taught and motivated them to be good Samaritans. May I also be one.
1. Do I Wear a “Pro-Family” Button? Christ speaks about a beautiful vineyard. It had to be tended. God has given me a vineyard: my family, friends and co-workers. How do I tend my vineyard? By organizing family life, assigning tasks, and attending to the needs of others. The careful worker sees to it that in all of these, each one is loved. Good fruits follow; peace reigns. Am I sensitive to the needs of others? Do they see me as a real family person?
2. A “Number One” Button? Life is so busy. Temptations can arrive. I can be distracted like the tenants in the Gospel were. I can be too busy or too “into myself” to share and spend time with others. Does anyone feel neglected at home, at work, or in my network of family and friends? Do I tell my family and friends that I love them? Often? Do they see me as one always at their service? Who needs me to be their “Number One”?
3. Do I Have an “I-Am-Fun” Button? Life can be tedious. Often, people worry, are fearful, or work too hard. Our bodies and spirits need time to relax. Saints are happy people! Dullness is out. A laugh uplifts. An interesting conversation has appeal. A skilled listener encourages. A little humor brings out the twinkle in another’s eyes. It requires a little practice. Now is the time to start. Who needs my smile?
Dialogue with Christ: Lord, I love you. I thank you for all who have taken care of me and for the beautiful vineyard you have given me to take care of. Days can be busy. Difficulties can arise. Help me to see that my number-one task is the care of those you have entrusted to me. Negligence must be avoided. Thank you for reminding me to care for others with patience. Help me work with kindness.
Resolution: I will help organize the next family outing or event so that it is fun, not dull.
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