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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 05.06.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 05.06.2023


TOBIT 1: 3; 2: 1 – 8

I, Tobit, walked in the ways of truth and righteousness all the days of my life, and I performed many acts of charity to my brethren and countrymen who went with me into the land of the Assyrians, to Nineveh. When I arrived home and my wife Anna and my son Tobias were restored to me, at the feast of Pentecost, which is the sacred festival of the seven weeks, a good dinner was prepared for me and I sat down to eat. Upon seeing the abundance of food I said to my son, “Go and bring whatever poor man of our brethren you may find among the exiles in Nineveh, who is mindful of the Lord, and he shall eat together with me. I will wait for you until you come back.” So Tobias went out to look for some poor person of our people. When he came back, he said, “Father!” And I replied, “Here I am, my child.” Then he went on to say, “Look, Father, one of our people has been murdered and thrown into the market place, and now he lies there strangled.” So before I tasted anything I sprang up and removed the body to a place of shelter until sunset when I might bury it. And when I returned I washed myself and ate my food in sorrow. Then I remembered the prophecy of Amos, how he said against Bethel, “Your feasts shall be turned into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation.” And I wept. When the sun had set I went and dug a grave and buried the body. And my neighbours laughed at me and said, “He is still not afraid; he has already been hunted down to be put to death for doing this, and he ran away, yet here he is burying the dead again!”

The Word of the Lord.

Psalm 112: 1b – 2, 3 – 4, 5 – 6 (R.) 1b

R/. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.

Blessed the man who fears the Lord,
who takes great delight in his commandments.
His descendants shall be powerful on earth;
the generation of the upright will be blest. R/.

Riches and wealth are in his house;
his justice stands firm forever.
A light rises in the darkness for the upright;
he is generous, merciful and just. R/.

It goes well for the man who deals generously and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice.
He will never be moved;
forever shall the just be remembered. R/.

Revelation 1: 5ac

Jesus Christ, you are the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead; you have loved us and washed away our sins in your blood.

“They took the beloved son, killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.”
MARK 12: 1 – 12

At that time: Jesus began to speak to the chief priests and the scribes and the elders in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a pit for the wine press, and built a tower, and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed; and so with many others, some they beat and some they killed.” He had still one other, a beloved son; finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ And they took him and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. “What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants, and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture: ‘The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes’?” And they tried to arrest him, but feared the multitude, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them; so they left him and went away.

The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Exercising Authority
June 5, 2023

Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey. At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed.” (Mark 12:1–3)

This was the first of “many” servants the owner of the vineyard sent to the tenants to obtain some of the produce of the vineyard. Some of the servants were mistreated, some beaten and others were killed. In the end, the owner sent his son. The tenants killed him, thinking that they would inherit the vineyard if the son were dead.

The context of this parable is important. Jesus had just entered Jerusalem for the beginning of the first Holy Week, which would ultimately end with His death and resurrection. The day before, Jesus had cleansed the Temple of the money changers. The chief priests, scribes and elders were outraged and began to plot His death. Jesus especially addressed this parable to them.

To understand this parable, you need to understand who represents whom. The religious leaders of Israel were the tenants, the vineyard was the Jewish nation, God the Father was the man who planted the vineyard, the many servants sent to gather the produce were the prophets of old, and Jesus was the Beloved Son Who was killed. The parable concludes by saying that the owner of the vineyard (God the Father) will put the tenants to death and give the vineyard to others. In other words, the scribes, Pharisees, chief priests and elders would soon have their religious authority taken away from them, and it would be given to the Apostles and their successors. This parable, therefore, presents us with a summary of the way the Church was formed.

It’s helpful to note that the religious leaders of the time knew that Jesus addressed this parable to them, but they failed to heed the lesson. Ideally, if they were open to the gift of faith, they would have realized that they were attempting to steal the “vineyard” from God. They were attempting to control and manipulate the Kingdom of Israel, to make it into their own image, and to disregard the will of God Who established it.

This parable is especially important for anyone who exercises some form of holy authority. Parents exercise authority within the home. Bishops and priests exercise authority within the Church. And we all exercise a certain spiritual authority when we seek to fulfill our unique mission in life. The lesson from this parable is simple: don’t abuse your authority. Don’t exercise authority according to your own will; exercise it with humility only in accord with God’s will. Every leader, always and everywhere, must lead according to the mind and will of God. If they fail, they will suffer the consequences.

Reflect, today, upon any way that God has entrusted you with a spiritual duty to fulfill His mission in this world. When a duty of leadership is entrusted to a person, the leader is also entrusted with the spiritual authority to fulfill that duty in accord with the mind and will of God. This requires constant humility so that it is only God’s will that is fulfilled. Seek to exercise all authority in accord with the mind and will of God, and the vineyard entrusted to your care will bear an abundance of good fruit.

Loving Father, You have chosen to send me, as a tenant of Your Kingdom, to bear good fruit for eternal life. Please help me to always exercise the authority and duty entrusted to me with humility so that I will seek to fulfill Your will and Your will alone. Jesus, I trust in You.

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