The Freedom to Choose
Today’s Gospel reading is about the parable of the landowners and the tenants. It is a powerful reminder of God’s love for humanity. Through His generosity and patience, God wants us to live in abundance in His magnificent vineyard. Yet we, like the tenants, are free to choose whether we will accept or reject God’s gifts.
Jesus is essentially speaking to the Chief Priests and Pharisees about Israel (the vineyard) and how the authorities (the tenants) rejected and killed various prophets (crop collectors) who were sent by the landowner (God) including his son (Jesus). Jesus is also prophesying about his own death.
The central message is that each of us, like the tenants, are given free will and have the power to choose to accept or reject Jesus. Those who reject Jesus will not inherit the kingdom of God. Instead, ‘it will be given to those who produce the fruits of the kingdom’.
We are all temporary residents in God’s vineyard. Our role in this life is to be useful by tending the crops. The fruit we produce is for God, our Divine Landowner.
He provides us with everything, asking only that we produce good fruit come harvest time.
It is easy in our busy secular world to reject Jesus, especially in challenging times when we feel weak, tired or vulnerable. Many of us are experiencing difficulties now in a COVID-19 world. But ultimately we must make a choice everyday – to accept or reject Jesus.
As Christians, we accept that God sent His Son, Jesus, who died for us, so that we might be saved – this is the promise of eternal salvation which is available to us all. We believe Jesus paid the ultimate price so that we might live in freedom, now and beyond this earthly life.
Do I accept or reject Jesus? Do I choose to cultivate good produce? What fruits will I produce for the Lord?
For me, the choice is simple. I choose the saving love of Christ. I choose abundance and prosperity. I choose to cultivate a rich harvest. I choose freedom. I choose Jesus.