Today’s Gospel offers us a parable whereby Jesus predicts His own suffering and death through way of the tenants treatment of both the servants and the heir, the son. Many times through the Gospels and in His accounts to the disciples Jesus offers us a prediction that this is the way things are going – certainly when it comes to the very details of the manner in which He will suffer, die and be Resurrected, Jesus prophesies but in the telling of the parable, He offers us a sense of what makes sense given the conditions of the world in which they [and we] live, a predictable trajectory [given the hardness of heart He is already experiencing in the people and pride on the part of the leaders] and human nature as He sees and experiences it. This is not to take away from Jesus’ divinity, but what He offers us in the parable in today’s Gospel speaks also of what our expectations ought to be if we seek to be true followers of Jesus Christ. We will suffer, we will experience what Jesus experienced. It may not be death, because we ourselves are not the heir, but we are the servants, and servants suffer. And the closer to Christ we get, the more we suffer for it. Unfortunately, too many are afraid of this and so in turn reject the mission.
A vocation will bring hardship and suffering for our faith; there is no way around stating this. If we live for Jesus Christ, then it’s not always going to be easy. But the alternative is emptiness if we live unfulfilled, eternal suffering if we choose an opposite path rather than the temporary suffering we undergo here in this world, and for most of us only at times when we totally and completely follow the Lord. A vocation brings tremendous joy and peace too in this life, but if we run away from our calling; priesthood, religious life, marriage or whatever our vocation is AND choose to be small in the world to remain hidden and shun a life for Christ – I can assure you that life will never be all that it can be. Friends, we must take this too to prayer and be all we can be.