St. Stanislaus, affectionately called St. Stan in Modesto, California
1 Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.
6 "He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, 'They will respect my son.'
7 "But the tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' 8 So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
9 "What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Haven't you read this passage of Scripture:
" 'The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
11 the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes' "
Jesus did not give us the Beatitudes from a Tower. Jesus just might have given this parable from a Vineyard. Jesus spoke of Abba as the Vinedresser.
And Jesus knew something of Holy.
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
2 Our feet have been standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem!
3 Jerusalem—built as a city
that is bound firmly together,
4 to which the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
5 There thrones for judgment were set,
the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
“May they be secure who love you!
7 Peace be within your walls
and security within your towers!”
8 For my brothers and companions' sake
I will say, “Peace be within you!”
9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.
Our Beloved Hero, Jesus Christ, Son of God, moved among His people. Visiting the Centurion until He was stopped for humility. Jesus visited fishermen at work. Jesus would pause to go to a funeral where the widow was broken hearted.
Jesus told us we couldn't serve God and money, but Jesus never refrained from the work place. Instead Jesus was asked about money and power quite a bit. He always expected His people to endeavor. Even in Genesis, when God looked forward to talking and walking in the Garden with Adam, this was in the cool of the evening, when Adam had worked the Garden.
Jesus was telling us about attitudes and priorities. God expects us to include Him, all day long actually. Like Jesus being part of life, going across the Sea of Galilee, 16 miles three times in one day - to meet someone He planned to see on the other side of the Sea. Jesus was working for His Father.
God was teaching us to be like St. Paul, being all things to all people to bring Jesus in our daily lives.
1 Corinthians 9
20 When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.
22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.
When looking up the word 'persuade' in the Scripture, I was surprised to find many times persuasion is not of the good sort.
In fact, this is the only two New Testament 'persuasion' quotes are about good:
I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.
2 Corinthians 5:11
[ The Ministry of Reconciliation ] Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.
Most of persuasion runs like this - "Let's kill Paul!"
God does not want us largely to persuade people. He wants their inner Spirit to awaken and stir relationship with Jesus.
We could extrapolate St. Francis' famous quote misstated as "Preach the Gospel and if necessary, use words." Instead let's use that old reformed, rogue, St. Augustine.
Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.
Grapevines usually take three years. What a coincidence! Several of God's works do that as well!
Work in me, Father God, as well. I ask in the Name of Jesus! Amen!
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †