“The Cross’s tragedy of love is the echo, in our history, of the drama of divine love lived out in eternity, in which, by giving us his Son, the Father gives us everything.”
And Jesus began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country for a long while. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, that they should give him some of the fruit of the vineyard; but the tenants beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant; him also they beat and treated shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third; this one they wounded and cast out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; it may be they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ And they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.” (Lk 20:9–15)
1. The owner of the vineyard
What is most mysterious in this parable is not the tenants’ shameful attitude: such an attitude is, unfortunately, quite familiar to us; it is typical of man the sinner who constantly gives offense to love. But it is also not the attitude of the servants, for they behave just as one would expect servants to behave who have received a mission and who make an effort to carry it out (such as the prophets of the Old Covenant, for example). No, what stands out as singular, surprising, and quite simply inconceivable is the attitude of the owner of the vineyard: “What shall I do?” he asks himself; and, for some mysterious reason, knowing the fate his servants received at the hands of the wicked tenants, he nevertheless decides: “I will send my beloved son.”
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