Friday, March 21st. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 21:33-43.45-46.
Friday of the Second week of Lent
21 MARCH 2014
‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire
his inheritance.’ They seized him, threw him out of
the vineyard, and killed him.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 21:33-43.45-46.
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: «Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it,
and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned.
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way.
Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come,
let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’
They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?”
They answered him, “He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease
his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times.”
Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders
rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’?
Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to
a people that will produce its fruit.
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them.
And although they were attempting to arrest him, they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.
Friday of the Second week of Lent
Saint Bonaventure, O.F.M. (Italian: San Bonaventura; 1221 – 15 July 1274), born Giovanni di Fidanza, was an Italian medieval scholastic theologian and philosopher. The seventh Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, he was also a Cardinal Bishop of Albano. He was canonised on 14 April 1482 by Pope Sixtus IV and declared a Doctor of the Church in the year 1588 by Pope Sixtus V. He is known as the “Seraphic Doctor” (Latin: Doctor Seraphicus). Many writings believed in the Middle Ages to be his are now collected under the name Pseudo-Bonaventura.
Commentary of the day
Saint Bonaventure (1221-1274),
Franciscan, Doctor of the Church
The Mystical Vine, ch. 3, § 5-10
“They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him”
“I am the true vine,” Jesus says (Jn 15,1)… People dig trenches around this vine; that is to say, cunningly dig traps. When they plot to make someone fall into a snare it is as if they dug a pit in front of him. That is why he mourns about it, saying: “They have dug a pit before me” (Ps 56,7)… Here is one example of these snares: “They brought a woman who had been caught in adultery” to our Lord Jesus, “saying: ‘Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?’ ” (Jn 8,3f.)… And here is another: “Is it lawful to pay the census tax to the Emperor or not?” (cf. Mt 22,17)…
However they discovered that these traps caused no harm to the vine. To the contrary, in digging these pits they themselves fell into them (Ps 56,7)… Then they kept on digging: not just his hands and his feet (Ps 21,17) but they pierced his side with a lance (Jn 19,34) and uncovered the interior of that sacred heart, which had already been wounded by the spear of love. The Bridegroom says in the song of his love that: “You have wounded my heart, my sister, my spouse” (Sg 4,9 Vg.). O Lord Jesus, your heart has been wounded with love by your spouse, your friend, your sister. Why, then, was it necessary for your enemies to wound you again? O you enemies, what are you doing?… Do you not know that this heart of our Lord Jesus’, already pierced, is already dead, already open and cannot be touched by any other suffering? The heart of the Bridegroom, our Lord Jesus, has already received the wound of love, the death of love. What other death could touch him?… The martyrs also laugh when they are threatened, rjoice when they are struck, triumph when they are killed. Why? Because they have already died through love in their hearts, “dead to sin” (Rm 6,2) and to the world…
Thus Jesus’ heart has been wounded and put to death for our sake… Physical death triumphed for a moment but only to be conquered for ever. It was blotted out when Christ rose from the dead because “death has no power over him any more” (Rm 6,9).