All we have been given

    March 1, 2024

    There is a saying among storytellers that “the story begins when the teller stops talking.” This could certainly be applied to today’s Gospel. The parable Jesus tells leaves me with more questions than answers.

    What were they thinking? Was violence really the best response? Did they really think that killing the son would bring about a good ending? And finally, there’s the question Jesus puts to his listeners: “What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?”

    Putting these questions in context, we get some insights. The workers Jesus is describing were descendants of slaves — so we could expect them to appreciate their status as servants, entitled to at least a share of the crops. At the same time, they were not treated as family members. They seemingly resented the son’s automatic right to inherit the property, while they would continue to get only a share of the harvest.

    With this in mind, we can acknowledge that we too sometimes fail to acknowledge our giftedness. We forget about all we have been given and think only of what we perceive as missing from our lives. Our reactions to real or perceived hurts can lead us to a sense of hopelessness. So, if it is true that “the story begins when the teller stops talking,” let’s place ourselves in that vineyard and begin

    Sister Eileen Reilly has been a School Sister of Notre Dame for over fifty years. She currently works at Catholic Mobilizing Network — the national group working to end the death penalty.

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