Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:13-46
‘Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watch-tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, “They will respect my son.” But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.” So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They said to him, ‘He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.’ –Matthew 21:33-41
Greed is epidemic in our land. So caught in it, we rarely recognize it in ourselves. God trusted us with the earth and all that is in it but we have not honored that trust by using it wisely and we deny that any of our actions relate to the devastating results. Profit drives our healthcare system not the well-being of our populace. Profit also drives our legal justice system. Growth is an important part of a capitalistic system. Thus our prison population grows in numbers and in years of sentences to sate the thirst of the for-profit prison business. While large corporations make larger and larger profits many of their employees earn less than a living wage and are dependent on food stamps, child care supplements, and Medicaid to survive.
Is this the world God intended? Does this describe the abundant life Christ envisioned for all? How do we turn these circumstances around? I think it starts with each of us examining ourselves and repenting of any part we may be playing in this process. We then must come together and find common ground on which to build the Common Good.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked* way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)