Allegory of Salvation

Monday, June 01, 2015
9th Week in Ordinary Time

 1st Reading: Tb 1:1ad,2a,3,17; 2:1a–8

 Gospel: Mk 12:112

Using parables, Jesus went on to say, “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a hole for the wine press and built a watch tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenants and went abroad.
“In due time he sent a servant to receive from the tenants his share of the fruit. But they seized the servant, struck him and sent him back empty-handed. Again the man sent another servant. They also struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent another and they killed him. In the same way they treated many others; some they struck and others they killed. One was still left, his beloved son. And so, last of all, he sent him to the tenants, for he said: ‘They will respect my son.’
“But those tenants said to one another: ‘This is the one who is to inherit the vineyard. Let’s kill him and the property will be ours.’ So they seized him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. Now, what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”
And Jesus added, “Have you not read this text of the Scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected has become the keystone. This was the Lord’s doing; and we marvel at it.”
They wanted to arrest him for they realized that Jesus meant this parable for them, but they were afraid of the crowd. So they left him and went away.


(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

Jesus used parables and allegories to package his message. Both are stories with moral lessons. The difference is that parables are to be taken as a whole because their details carry no individual hidden meanings. On the other hand, the objects, persons, and actions in an allegory are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself.

Today’s Gospel reading is an allegory. Several elements of this story carry hidden meanings. The vineyard stands for Israel, the owner for God, the tenant for the leaders of Israel, the beloved Son for Jesus, and the servants for God’s messengers. Taken according to the symbolisms of the objects, persons and actions in the narrative the story turns out to be about the leaders of Israel who killed the messengers of God and the prophets. It is also about God who, determined to claim back Israel, sent his only Son after the messengers he had sent ahead were killed.

The story must have been very familiar to the listeners because the practice of leasing out vineyards by absentee owners was common in Palestine in those days. Although Jesus rarely used allegories because he often used parables, this allegory was equally a powerful tool in the hands of Jesus. The familiarity of the allegory moved the Jews to follow the story until the end. Only later they realized that it was an attack on their hardheartedness.     – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM., MAPM. (dan.delosangeles@gmail.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org).

Prayer for the day: God our Father, imbue us with your wisdom so that we may put you at the center of our lives. Grant this through Christ our Lor., Amen.


SAINT OF THE DAY: HANNIBAL DI FRANCIA, was born in Italy in 1851 and was ordained a Catholic priest. He is called the Apostle of Prayer for Vocations because he centered all his works and attention for the salvation of he many poor youth whom he learned to love with a tender and divine affection. He founded two religious congregations, namely the Rogationists and the Daughters of Divine Zeal to carry out and propagate the prayer for vocations.