Monday, June 1, 2015

Become a vine that bears fruit Mark 12:1-12.

Book of Tobit 1:3.2:1a-8. 

I, Tobit, have walked all the days of my life on the paths of truth and righteousness. I performed many charitable works for my kinsmen and my people who had been deported with me to Nineveh, in Assyria.
Thus under King Esarhaddon I returned to my home, and my wife Anna and my son Tobiah were restored to me. Then on our festival of Pentecost, the feast of Weeks, a fine dinner was prepared for me, and I reclined to eat.
The table was set for me, and when many different dishes were placed before me, I said to my son Tobiah: "My son, go out and try to find a poor man from among our kinsmen exiled here in Nineveh. If he is a sincere worshiper of God, bring him back with you, so that he can share this meal with me. Indeed, son, I shall wait for you to come back."
Tobiah went out to look for some poor kinsman of ours. When he returned he exclaimed, "Father!" I said to him, "What is it, son?" He answered, "Father, one of our people has been murdered! His body lies in the market place where he was just strangled!"
I sprang to my feet, leaving the dinner untouched; and I carried the dead man from the street and put him in one of the rooms, so that I might bury him after sunset.
Returning to my own quarters, I washed myself and ate my food in sorrow.
I was reminded of the oracle pronounced by the prophet Amos against Bethel: "Your festivals shall be turned into mourning, And all your songs into lamentation."
And I wept. Then at sunset I went out, dug a grave, and buried him.
The neighbors mocked me, saying to one another: "Will this man never learn! Once before he was hunted down for execution because of this very thing; yet now that he has escaped, here he is again burying the dead!"

Psalms 112(111):1-2.3-4.5-6. 
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.

Wealth and riches shall be in his house;
his generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.

Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 12:1-12. 
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.
Again he sent them another servant. And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully.
He sent yet another whom they killed. So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed.
He had one other to send, a beloved son. He sent him to them last of all, thinking, '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.'
So they seized him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
What (then) will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come, put the tenants to death, and give the vineyard to others.
Have you not read this scripture passage: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes'?"
They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd, for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them. So they left him and went away.

Become a vine that bears fruit

As for vines, we bind them, tie them to posts, bend the branches over and attach them to stout stakes to hold them. By this we can understand the sweet and holy life and Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ who, in everything, is to be the support of the well-meaning person. Such a person has to be bent over, what is highest in him has to be brought low and he has to go down in true, humble submission from the depth of his heart. All our interior and exterior faculties, the sensitive and acquisitive as well as our rational ones, have to be bound in their place, in true submission to the will of God.

Next we turn over the earth at the foot of the vine and hoe up the weeds. This is how a person has to hoe himself, giving profound attention to what might still remain to pull up from deep within himself, so that the divine Sun may come right up close and shine there. So if you allow the power from on high to carry out its work in it, the sun will draw up the humidity from the soil into the sap hidden in the wood and the bunches will grow magnificently. Then, with its heat, the sun acts on the bunches and causes them to burst into flower and these flowers have a noble and wholesome scent… Then the fruit becomes indescribably sweet. Oh, may this be granted to all of us!

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