02 June – Monday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time; Sts. Marcellinus and Peter, martyrs
Marcellinus, a priest, and Peter, an exorcist, died in the year 304. According to a legendary account of their martyrdom, the two Romans saw their imprisonment as just one more opportunity to evangelize and managed to convert their jailer and his family. The legend also says that they were beheaded in the forest so that other Christians wouldn’t have a chance to bury and venerate their bodies. Two women found the bodies, however, and had them properly buried.
2 Peter 1:2-7
May you have more and more grace and peace as you come to know our Lord more and more.
By his divine power, he has given us all the things that we need for life and for true devotion, bringing us to know God himself, who has called us by his own glory and goodness. In making these gifts, he has given us the guarantee of something very great and wonderful to come: through them you will be able to share the divine nature and to escape corruption in a world that is sunk in vice. But to attain this, you will have to do your utmost yourselves, adding goodness to the faith that you have, understanding to your goodness, self-control to your understanding, patience to your self-control, true devotion to your patience, kindness towards your fellow men to your devotion, and, to this kindness, love.
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes and the elders in parables, ‘A man planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug out a trough for the winepress and built a tower, then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce from the vineyard. But they seized the man, thrashed him and sent him away empty-handed. Next he sent another servant to them; him they beat about the head and treated shamefully. And he sent another and him they killed; then a number of other, and they thrashed some and killed the rest. He had still someone left: his beloved son. He sent him to them last of all. ‘They will respect my son’ he said. But those tenants said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him, and the inheritance 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 make an end of the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this text of scripture:
It was the stone rejected by the builders
that became the keystone.
This was the Lord’s doing
and it is wonderful to see?’
And they would have liked to arrest him, because they realised that the parable was aimed at them, but they were afraid of the crowds. So they left him alone and went away.
He will come and make an end of the tenants and give the vineyard to others.
Jesus’ sacrifice released to us the abundant gifts that God wanted to give us. However, one also has to keep in mind that His sacrifice was meant to pay for the breaking of the covenant by God’s children.
In the parable that Jesus described, the tenants resembled the religious leaders of Israel, who God loved the most amongst the nations and entrusted with the heavenly kingdom which was to come. The gifts were meant for them. However, they had not held their identity as God’s children in high regard. Again and again, they strayed and sinned even as the Father sent prophets to them. The search for new tenants resembled God forming a new Israel.
When Jesus paid the price in full, anyone, not just the Israelites, who walked in God’s ways would be acknowledging themselves as His beloved. Suddenly God’s blessings were released to everyone, available to all who desire that vineyard of eternal salvation. One who has his heart set on it is in the direction that God wants him to be, and great rewards await him – simply because he is a child of God by living for Him!
(Today’s reflection by Regina Xie)
Prayer: We pray to the Lord for the faith to treasure our spiritual gifts.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks to the Lord for His blessings upon us.
03 June, Tue – 2 Peter 3:12-15a, 17-18 ; Mark 12:13-17
04 June, Wed – 2 Timothy 1:1-3, 6-12; Mark 12:18-27
05 June, Thu – 2 Timothy 2:8-15; Mark 12:28-34
06 June, Fri – 2 Timothy 3:10-17; Mark 12:35-37
07 June, Sat – 2 Timothy 4:1-8; Mark 12:38-44
08 Jun, Sun – Hosea 6:3-6; Romans 4:18-25; Matthew 9:9-13; Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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