Jesus loved vineyards: he firmly said: I am the vine, and you are the branches (John 15:5). But the weekend Gospel presents a blood harvest, with evil characters plotting Jesus’ death: “This is the heir; come, let us kill him.”
God’s love does not give up through the parable, and three times, after each disappointment, he restarts his heart, sending new prophets, new servants, and even his son.
The tenants in the vineyard have become predators, like the authorities wanting to kill Jesus. They have no fruits despite dwelling in the perfect vineyard; they cannot give what they don’t have.
Jesus asks them: what should the owner do with them? The chief priests’ answer is tragic, using the same old logic: kill them, put in more violence. Bring revenge, death, and more blood.
Thankfully, God doesn’t work like that. No more deaths; the Father will start anew.
I find great comfort in these words: I feel that my doubts, sins, and barrenness do not block God’s story; that his dream of good wine nevertheless advances; nothing stops it. The vineyard will bear fruit because there are still those who will know how to defend it and make it bear fruit. They are there, increasing, good vinedressers who guard the vineyard instead of despoiling it, serving humanity instead of exploiting it.
In God’s vineyard, it is the good that revokes the bad. Tomorrow’s harvest, bunches swollen with juice and sunshine, will be more important than yesterday’s betrayal.