Road of Reconciliation – MARK 12:1-12 Gospel

by | Jun 26, 2017 | Formation, Reflections, Society of St. Vincent de Paul


Road of Reconciliation MARK 12:1-12 Gospel – MARK 12:1-12 Gospel – “When God gives you help, do not ask questions!”  

Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast

Road of Reconciliation

Going to Confession is good. It is not just a Lenten event.  If you want to feel good with God and be at peace with Jesus, seek reconciliation.  It is good to do regularly, unless of course you are perfect. The last Confession I had last month, the priest looked at me and said, “Why are you here Lynn? You are not a sinner.” I said, “Father we are all sinners and I am no different. My biggest sin is getting angry at my husband whom I love and getting angry at people who tell me I am wrong to help others so much.”  He told me they were not sins because he knows I have asked forgiveness of my loved ones and others who don’t understand. I really could grasp this concept.  “I am a sinner and I want to be forgiven.”  He said, “Okay, you are forgiven:  Your penance is to make me one of your meat pies and to continue serving those in need and praying for everyone in need.”  The best Penance I have ever had.

Mark 12:1-12 Gospel

The story of the landowner who planted a vineyard and leased it to tenants. This vineyard stands for Israel, but it could be broadened to include the whole world. Like the landowner, God has made for his people a beautiful and productive place, a place where they can find rest, enjoyment, and good work.  We can always learn from Scripture of our calling and to trust it is a true calling to be disciples of Jesus to serve Him in the poor.  Feed the sheep tend the lambs.  When vintage time drew near, the landowner sent his servants to the tenants to obtain the produce. But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned. Is this not the whole, sorry history of Israel and its prophets, of the world and the people whom God has sent?  Then we hear the event upon which the parable turns: “Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they killed him.” After the terrible treatment that his representatives have received, the owner sends his son? Is he crazy? Yes, a little. But this is the over-the-top patience and generosity of God, his crazy love. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,” knowing full well what his fate would be.

Mark 12:1-12 Gospel

St. John’s account, Jesus shows his disciples the wounds of his crucifixion, and then he offers them Shalom (peace). It is the juxtaposition of the wounds and the Shalom that carries power. The wounds alone would leave us afraid, convinced of our sin but not of a way out. The Shalom alone would leave us with cheap grace, a too easy way out. And this is precisely why, immediately after uttering that word and showing those wounds, Jesus sends the disciples on a mission of forgiveness: “Then he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men’s sins they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound.’”  The Church receives its essential mission and identity as the bearer of the divine forgiveness. We have been entrusted with speaking the Shalom of Jesus to a fallen and hopeless world. But it’s not cheap grace that we share. We participate in Jesus’ mission of showing his wounds as well. The Church refuses to explain sin away or make excuses for it or call it by another name. But when those wounds are revealed, it offers peace.

“When God Gives You Help, Do Not Ask Questions!”

She hurried to the pharmacy to get medication, got back to her car and found that she had locked her keys inside. The woman found an old rusty coat hanger left on the ground. She looked at it and said, I don’t know how to use this. She bowed her head and asked God to send her some help. Within five minutes a beat-up motorcycle pulled up, driven by a bearded man who was wearing an old biker skull rag.  He got off his cycle and asked if he could help. She said, “Yes, my daughter is sick.  I’ve locked my keys in my car.  I must get home.  Please, can you use this hanger to unlock my car?  He said, “Sure” and he walked over to the car, and in less than a minute the car door was open. She hugged the man and through tears, softly said, “Thank you, God, for sending me such a very nice man.” The man heard her little prayer and replied, “lady, I am not a nice man.  I just got out of prison yesterday; I was in prison for car theft.”  The woman hugged the man again, sobbing, “Oh, thank you, God!  You even sent me a professional”

Lynn and prayers to all Vincentians and those we serve.