Blue spring flowers on the Cathedral grounds

Today’s Gospel: Matthew 21:33–43

“All things come from thee O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee.” (1 Chronicles 29:14)

I recall hearing these words as a child on Sunday mornings, as one of the offertory sentences provided in the 1928 Prayer Book. They served as a literal reminder that all we have is from God and that some measure should be shared for the building up of God’s kingdom.

In today’s reading from Matthew’s gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the tenants, who are often described as wicked. The parable reveals what happens when we forget that all that we have is from God. We encounter tenants who choose to abuse the responsibilities and the gifts entrusted to them by a landlord who perfectly prepares a vineyard for their use—hedged and fitted with a winepress and watchtower. They respond with greed and resentment that leads to acts of violence and ultimately murder.

Like the tenants in the parable, God has given us many blessings (people, relationships, resources, circumstances and events of our lives) and entrusted them to our care. Yet we, especially as we gain wealth, privilege, or power, may forget that these blessings are not just ours to use for our own benefit. During this season of Lent, we can meditate on our relationship to what we have done or failed to do with the God’s gifts. May we look to use what God has given us to serve God and help one another.

Almighty God, whose loving hand has given us all that we possess: Grant us grace that we may honor you with our substance, and, remembering the account which we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of your bounty, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.