In the first reading today from Genesis 37, we see some of the story of Joseph. He was Israel’s favorite son, and his brothers didn’t like that so much. So they decided to kill him. In the end cooler heads prevailed they wound up “only” selling him into slavery. But the plot to kill the beloved son had been hatched.
In the Gospel reading from Matthew 21, Jesus tells the story of a landowner who sent servants to the vineyard and one by one they were beaten and killed by the tenants. So the landowner sends his son. It didn’t matter. They killed him, too. The parable is about the prophets and Jesus, the Son.
You see, it wasn’t that the people didn’t like the prophets. They were probably fine, upstanding people. They didn’t like the message. So, to stop the messages from coming, they would kill the messenger. The same thing happens today. People don’t like to be told that they are sinning, that they must repent and that God wants them to live holy lives. And because so many want to shoot the messenger, we (the messengers) shy away from giving the message. We shouldn’t. Because, even though it may be unpopular, it is still necessary.
Father, give us the courage to call people to holiness, to be your messengers. Amen.