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The Terms Of The Lease

Monday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

With a lease agreement comes obligations. If we lease an office, a store, an apartment, or a car, we are expected to fulfill the terms of the lease. We are expected to make periodic payments. If we don’t pay, the owner will remind us to do so. If we still don’t pay, a collection company will start sending us letters of reminder, with threats. Our credit rating will be damaged, they tell us; the office, the store, the apartment, the car will be repossessed. Can you imagine beating up or killing anyone who comes to collect your payments? That’s what Jesus is accusing the Jews of doing.

God provided for the Jewish people a beautiful country. It was referred to as a “land flowing with milk and honey.” Their lease agreement for this land was to keep the commandments of God. They were to honor him and obey him. They didn’t. They beat up, even killed the prophets he sent to remind them of their obligations. They even killed God’s Son. They lost their land. But now they have it back, don’t they? Suppose they have learned their lesson and will do better this time? How about us?

We have a beautiful country in which to live wherever we wish, most of us have a fine home and a lot of material goodies. We are here in church now thanking God for all he has given us and promising we will live according to his ways. Let us never forget how good God is to us. All we have is from him, but only on a temporary basis, sort of like a lease. More and much better will come later, and on a permanent basis, but it all depends on how well we do with what we’ve got now, how we keep the terms of our lease with God.

A man planted a vineyard,” Jesus said, “he put a hedge around it, dug out a vat, and erected a tower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers.” We are those tenant farmers. Let us always be sure we read and live up to the terms of all our lease agreements, especially the one we have with God.

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