Readings for June 1, 2009

Memorial of Saint Justin, martyr

First Reading: Tobit 1:3, 2:1-8
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 112
Gospel: Mark 12:1-12

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?" (Mark 12:9-11)

In today's gospel we read the parable of the selfish and greedy tenants. These tenants were meant to take care of the vineyard while the owner was away. When the Owner sent his servants to the vineyard to collect His produce, the tenants beat him, and then they proceeded to beat and kill anyone else that the owner sent. Then the owner sent His beloved son, whom He thought for sure they would respect. But once again, greed seized their hearts, and they killed the beloved son thinking that they would then be able to inherit the vineyard.

These tenants did not think about what the consequences of their actions would be, they only thought of their of their own wants and desires. Greed has this way of making us only concerned about ourselves and of the things that we want. If we let this greed consume our hearts, then there is nothing we won't do to get what we want, even lie, murder or steal. This parable illustrates how far we can fall when we let greed consume us. Allowing greed into our hearts turns us away from God, causing us to give in to sin more and more. Giving into greed really says, "let my will be done." When we allow our hearts to be ruled by greed then we reject God, just as the priests and scribes that Jesus addressed this parable to had done.

The good news that we have and which Jesus showed us is that greed can be conquered. It can be conquered through acts of charity and sacrifice. Jesus did not show any self-interest or own personal wants when He went to the cross. If was are to truly follow Christ and live our life for Him and others then we must be willing to sacrifice as He did. For all believers and followers, there is not room for greed in our hearts. May we be among the blessed to receive the inheritance that Jesus offers to us.

Father above, we thank you and praise for this day. Lord Jesus, help to purify our hearts and to not let in the sins and greed of this world. Lord, help us to choose love and sacrifice over our own self-interest. We know that you are love, and we pray for you to increase your love in us so that we may go out and be lights in this world. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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