Daily Gospel – Monday, June 3, 2024 – Mark 12,1-12 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (2 Peter 1,2-7)

Reading of the Second Letter of Saint Peter.

Dear friends, grace and peace be abundantly granted to you, because you know God and Jesus, our Lord. His divine power has given us everything that contributes to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who, by His own glory and virtue, called us. Through all this we were given the precious promises, the greatest there are, so that you might become partakers of the divine nature, after being freed from corruption and lust in the world. For this very reason, dedicate all your effort to adding to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance piety, to piety brotherly love and to brotherly love charity.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Mark 12,1-12)

— Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, Jesus began to speak to the high priests, teachers of the Law and elders, using parables: A man planted a vineyard, surrounded it, made a wine press and built a guard tower. Then he leased the vineyard to some farmers, and traveled far away. At harvest time, he sent a servant to the farmers to receive his share of the fruits of the vineyard. But the farmers caught the employee, beat him, and sent him back with nothing. So the owner of the vineyard sent another employee again. Farmers hit him on the head and insulted him.

Then the owner sent yet another one, and they killed him. They treated many others in the same way, beating some and killing others. He still had someone left: his beloved son. Finally, he sent his son to the farmers, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those farmers said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they grabbed the son, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come, destroy the farmers, and hand over the vineyard to others. Have you not read in Scripture: ‘The stone that the builders left aside has become the most important stone; This was done by the Lord and is admirable in our eyes’? Then the leaders of the Jews sought to arrest Jesus, because they understood that he had told them the parable. However, they were afraid of the crowd and so they left Jesus and went away.

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today we gather to meditate on the readings from the Second Letter of Peter and the Gospel of Mark. These passages invite us to reflect deeply on the nature of our faith, our relationship with God, and our commitment to justice and love in our daily lives.

Let’s start by reading the Second Letter of Peter. In this excerpt, the apostle Peter gives us a spiritual formula for growing in faith and virtue. He writes: “May grace and peace be given to you in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything necessary for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His glory and virtue. Through them He has given us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Therefore, doing all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly love, and to brotherly love charity.”

Peter shows us a path of spiritual growth that begins with faith and culminates in charity. Faith is the foundation of our Christian life, but it must be nourished and strengthened through the constant practice of virtues. He calls us to add to our faith virtue, and to virtue, knowledge. Knowledge here is not just intellectual, but a deep understanding of God’s will, which guides us to self-control – the ability to control our desires and actions in accordance with that will. This self-control leads us to perseverance, the ability to maintain our path even in the face of adversity. Perseverance turns into piety, a deep and reverent love for God, which naturally expands into brotherly love and, finally, charity – pure and disinterested love for all.

This path that Peter describes is essential for our spiritual transformation. Each step brings us closer to the divine nature, allowing us to participate in God’s life and escape the corruption of the world. It is an invitation to a life of constant growth and renewal, where each virtue strengthens and deepens the other.

Now we turn our attention to the Gospel of Mark. In this passage, Jesus tells the parable of the murderous vineyard farmers: “A man planted a vineyard, surrounded it with a hedge, dug a tank to press the grapes, and built a guard tower. Afterwards, he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went traveling. At harvest time, he sent a servant to the farmers to receive from them their share of the fruits of the vineyard. But the farmers caught the servant, beat him, and sent him back empty-handed. And he sent another servant to them, whom they struck on the head and insulted. The owner sent yet another servant, and they killed him. And so it was with many others: some they beat, others they killed. He still had an only beloved son. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘My son they will respect.’ But those farmers said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they caught him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do then? He will come and kill the farmers and give the vineyard to others.”

This parable is a powerful metaphor for Israel’s rejection of God and the coming of Jesus Christ. The owner of the vineyard represents God, the vineyard is Israel, and the farmers are the religious leaders who failed to fulfill their duties. The servants sent are the prophets, who were mistreated and killed. The beloved son is Jesus, who was also rejected and crucified. This passage reveals God’s patience and justice. Despite continued rejection and violence against His messengers, God sent His own Son, expecting them to respect Him. But the final rejection of the Son brought inevitable judgment.

The message of this parable is clear and profound. First, it reminds us of God’s incredible love and patience. He did not give up on His people, even after repeated rejection and violence. He sent messenger after messenger, and finally His own Son. This shows us how far God is willing to go to reconcile us to Himself.

But there is also a serious warning here. Rejection of the Son leads to judgment. God offers us His grace and His love, but He also expects a response. He expects us to bear fruit in our lives – fruit of righteousness, love, and faith. If we refuse His grace and continue in our ways of selfishness and rebellion, we will face the consequences of our choices.

This parable also challenges us to reflect on our own lives. Are we the farmers who reject God’s messengers? Do we ignore the warnings and calls to repentance? Or are we those who welcome the Son, who accept his message and strive to live according to his will? We must examine our hearts and our actions to see if we are truly producing the fruit God expects from us.

Now, bringing together the lessons from today’s two readings, we see a clear and urgent call to grow in our spiritual lives and respond to God’s grace with our whole being. Peter gives us a practical path to this, through faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, piety, brotherly love and charity. Each of these qualities helps us become more like Christ and live according to God’s will.

The Gospel reminds us that this transformation is not optional, but essential. God calls us to bear fruit in our lives, to live in ways that reflect His love and righteousness. If we reject this calling, we will face the consequences of our rejection. But if we accept and strive to follow the path of virtue, we will find true and eternal life in Christ.

Dear brothers and sisters, may we today, and every day, respond to God’s call with an open and determined heart. May we seek to grow in faith and virtue, and may our lives be a living testimony of God’s love and grace. May we be as lights in the world, guiding others to the truth and life in Christ.

Let’s now have a moment of silence, asking God for the grace to live according to His will, and the strength to follow the path He has shown us through His Word.

Lord, we thank You for today’s lessons. Help us to live according to Your will, to use our resources fairly and generously, and to cut out everything that leads us to sin. May we be light in the world, reflecting Your love in every action and word. Amen.

My brothers and sisters, as we leave here today, let us take with us the hope and determination to live as true followers of Christ. May God’s grace accompany us and may we be instruments of His peace and love in the world. Remember, we are called to be light and salt – let us shine and flavor the world with the goodness, justice and love of God. Amen.