Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
“Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near,
he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
another they killed, and a third they stoned.
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones,
but they treated them in the same way.
Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking,
‘They will respect my son.’
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another,
‘This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’
They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?”
They answered him,
“He will put those wretched men to a wretched death
and lease his vineyard to other tenants
who will give him the produce at the proper times.”
Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures:
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?
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.”
Well, today was our last day in Rome. We began with Mass in Casa Santa Maria, where the American priests who are doing graduate studies live. Deacon Paul Solomon preached his second homily and did a fine job. It was special celebrating the feast day of St. Francis as we just visited his hometown of Assisi on Tuesday.
We followed Mass with a walking tour of some churches given by Dr. Elizabeth Lev, who teaches art history here in Rome. It was an amazing tour as she is one of the leading experts in this field. It is so enlightening to get the history behind each work of art. We then had lunch on our own. We ended our touring with a wonderful visit to St. John Lateran, the first basilica built in Christendom in the 4th century. Then we did the Scala Santa (Holy Stairs). I had a nice surprise there as one of my best friends in seminary happened to be there at the same time. God is good.
We ended our pilgrimage with a nice dinner and the sharing of graces. God was working in the hearts of all the pilgrims. Some are going on for further travels in Italy. 17 of us return tomorrow.
Have a blessed Sunday!