THE SUFFERING OF THE GOOD
Following Jesus, often the best we can do is show our solidarity with the suffering that we see around us, and pray that this loving presence with those who suffer, speaks loud enough so that words are not needed.
On TV and in the media, it's ever present: the scenes that we watch of the misery of the abandoned, the homeless, of those abused; the exploitation of the poor; the accidental or criminal death even of parents and loved ones. Jesus Himself took His place among the unjustly tried, and His suffering and death are put before us on the altars of our churches, a daily reminder of His solidarity with those who suffer in this life.
In the first reading from the Book of Tobit, Tobit in faith does works of charity - he invites the poor to eat with him and he buries the dead left in the street. For this latter good deed, as an exile in a foreign land, he is liable to execution. The good he does seems at times only rewarded with trouble and disappointment.
In the Gospels, we hear that Jesus, the beloved of His Father, is also rejected by the people he came to save. In Jesus' resurrection we see the triumph of the poor and rejected, but this doesn't of itself wipe away the tears of the turbulent times we must face. Following Jesus, often the best we can do is show our solidarity with the suffering that we see around us, and pray that this loving presence with those who suffer, speaks loud enough so that words are not needed.
In the Gospel of Mark, the parable we read serves as a review of salvation history. The vineyard is the Lord's chosen people. The tenant farmers are the religious leaders of Israel. The servants are the prophets of old, and the beloved Son is Jesus Christ. Because of the killing of the son, the vineyard will be taken from the former religious leaders and given to a new people. The heart of the story will be dramatized in the passion narrative. Mark's rendition of the life of Jesus emphasizes the saving role of Christ and the kingdom of our heavenly Father.
In today's Responsorial Psalm we acclaim good news: Blessed the man who fears the Lord (Ps 112.) We need to remember what the theme of this psalm is - Light shines through the darkness for His people; God is always gracious and merciful and just.
Regardless of how it might seem at times, our heavenly Father is still guiding the course of salvation history... Make each day a Light of a New Dawn!