March 10, 2023
Friday of the Second Week of Lent
Readings for Today
“Therefore, I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” Matthew 21:42
Are you among those from whom the Kingdom of God will be taken away? Or among those to whom it will be given so as to produce good fruit? This is an important question to sincerely answer.
The first grouping of people, those who will have the Kingdom of God taken away from them, are represented in this parable by the tenants of the vineyard. It is clear that one of their greatest sins is greed. They are selfish. They see the vineyard as a place through which they can enrich themselves and care little about the good of others. Sadly, this mind frame is easy to adopt in our own lives. It’s easy to see life as a series of opportunities for us to “get ahead.” It’s easy to approach life in a way that we are constantly looking out for ourselves rather than sincerely seeking the good of others.
The second grouping of people, those to whom the Kingdom of God will be given so that it will produce good fruit, are those who understand that the central purpose of life is not to simply enrich themselves but to share the love of God with others. These are the people who are constantly looking for ways that they can be a true blessing to others. It’s the difference between selfishness and generosity.
But the generosity to which we are primarily called is to build up the Kingdom of God. This is done through works of charity, but it must be a charity that is motivated by the Gospel and has the Gospel as its ultimate end. Caring for the needy, teaching, serving and the like are all good only when Christ is the motivation and end goal. Our lives must make Jesus more known and loved, more understood and followed. In fact, even if we were to feed a multitude of people in poverty, care for those who were sick, or visit those who were lonely, but did it for reasons other than to ultimately share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then our work would not produce the good fruit of building up the Kingdom of Heaven. In that case, we would only be philanthropists rather than missionaries of the love of God.
Reflect, today, upon the mission given to you by our Lord to produce an abundance of good fruit for the upbuilding of His Kingdom. Know that this can only be accomplished by prayerfully seeking out the way God is inspiring you to act. Seek to serve His will alone so that all you do will be for God’s glory and the salvation of souls.
My glorious King, I pray that Your Kingdom will grow and that many souls will come to know You as their Lord and God. Use me, dear Lord, for the upbuilding of that Kingdom and help all my actions in life to bear abundant and good fruit. Jesus, I trust in You.
40 Days at the Foot of the Cross:
A Gaze of Love From the Heart of Our Blessed Mother
Reflection Fourteen – “Do Whatever He Tells You”
(Fri. of Second Week of Lent)
Novena to Saint Joseph. begins tomorrow, March 11
The Solemnity of Saint Joseph is moved to March 20 this year since March 19 falls on a Sunday, so the novena starts one day later than usual.
Scripture Meditations for Lent
Featured image above: Parable of the wicked husbandmen By Marten van Valckenborch, via Wikimedia Commons