The Readings today show us the brokenness of the human heart. The First Reading shows us the fault of Jacob’s heart. He showed his favoritism towards Joseph openly which caused his brothers to envy. There was also the fault of Joseph who openly boasted of his gift for dreams. Then lastly the anger and envy of the brothers towards Joseph that caused them to plot to murder him. Thankfully, Reuben interceded and they were convinced to just sell him as a slave, which shows another fault of the human heart, that they were willing to use another person as a thing for financial gain. This shows the brokenness of our human nature.
The Gospel also shows the human nature of those in the parable. The tenants were greedy that they would not want to give what was due to the landowner, such that they killed his messengers and lastly his son so they could get his inheritance. Lastly, the fault of the hearts of the chief priests and Pharisees who refused to accept Jesus despite the many signs he performed.
The human heart is broken and tends to lean towards rejecting God. It is this sin that causes a lot of suffering in humanity. Sin causes a person to reject God resulting in death. Sin is defeated through obedience to God, by accepting him as he is. The parable Jesus gave shows the wickedness of the chief priests and Pharisees, that they wanted the kingdom for themselves and they were willing to kill to keep that kingdom. Yet, Jesus warned them, that the kingdom they sought to protect for themselves will be useless because judgment will come and they will be killed because of what they did.
They are the builders who reject the stone. They rejected Jesus because Jesus did not fit their idea of Messiah. But eventually, God prevails. god made Jesus the cornerstone for the new kingdom. With regards to the kingdom the chief priests and Pharisees sought to protect, it was destroyed in 70AD, when the Romans entered Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple.
Jesus said The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. The kingdom the chief priests and Pharisees protected was one based on human power and authority. They thought they were protecting the kingdom of God by rejecting Jesus. Their kingdom was founded on mindless obedience to human traditions they taught.
But God took that kingdom from them and instead, set up a new kingdom founded on the Person of Jesus Christ. The people who enter this kingdom are those whose actions are consistent with the fruits of the kingdom. We need to get rid of our ideas of how the kingdom of God is like, how we can possess it and how we can enter it. It is not in doing good works alone. It is not in building churches or monuments. But we enter the kingdom of God when we bear fruit that Jesus expects: a lot of fruit that last.
Lord, show me where I err in my belief of your kingdom. Take away my errors and lead me to eternal life. Let me see that it is only in following you that I can be healed of my sinfulness. Lead me to your kingdom as I follow you.