Allegory of Salvation
Monday, June 04, 2018
9th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 2Pet 1:2-7
Gospel: Mk 12:1–12
Using parables, Jesus went on to say, “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a hole for the wine press and built a watch tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenants and went abroad. In due time he sent a servant to receive from the tenants his share of the fruit. But they seized the servant, struck him and sent him back empty-handed. Again the man sent another servant. They also struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent another and they killed him. In the same way they treated many others; some they struck and others they killed. One was still left, his beloved son. And so, last of all, he sent him to the tenants, for he said: ‘They will respect my son.’
“But those tenants said to one another: ‘This is the one who is to inherit the vineyard. Let’s kill him and the property will be ours.’ So they seized him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. Now, what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” And Jesus added, “Have you not read this text of the Scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected has become the keystone. This was the Lord’s doing; and we marvel at it.”
They wanted to arrest him for they realized that Jesus meant this parable for them, but they were afraid of the crowd. So they left him and went away.
(Daily Gospel in the
Jesus used parables and allegories to drive home important moral lessons. Parables are stories that must be taken as a whole to extract their moral lessons. Their details carry no individual hidden meanings. On the other hand, the objects, persons, and actions in an allegory are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself.
Today’s Gospel reading is an allegory. The vineyard stands for Israel; the owner, for God; the tenant, for the leaders of Israel; the beloved Son, for Jesus; and the servants, for God’s messengers. Taken according to the symbolisms of the objects, persons and actions in the narrative, the story turns out to be against the leaders of Israel who killed the prophets and other messengers of God.
The practice of leasing out vineyards by absentee owners was common in Palestine in those days. The familiarity of the allegory moved the Jews to follow the story until they realized it was an attack on their hardheartedness.
God will not leave any stone unturned until the message sinks. But if we remain hard-hearted, he has no way of ramming himself in because he respects our freedom. In the end, salvation is our own responsibility. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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