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The good news for the day, June 5 2017 Monday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time (393) Jesus began to confront his religious leaders, the educated folks, and political leadership in pointed stories. "A certain man planted a vineyard, put a protective barrier of plants around it, made a vat to press the wine, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it out to tenant farmers and went away on a long trip. When it was time, he sent an employee to the tenants to get from them some of the products of the vineyard. The tenants put hands on the employee, beat him up, and sent him away empty-handed. A second time, the owner sent them another employee. And that one they beat over the head and treated him badly. He sent still another–and they killed that one. So, too, many others; some they beat, others they murdered. He had one final one to send—a beloved son. The owner sent him to the tenants last of all, with this in mind, 'They will certainly respect my son.' But those tenants said to each other, 'This is someone who will get the vineyard by inheritance. Come on—let’s kill him, and what he would inherit will be ours.' So they did grab him, killed him, and threw his body out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of that vineyard do? He will come, have the tenants executed, and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this bit in theBible : The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the One in Over-all Charge has this been done,and it is amazing in our eyes?" His enemies were trying to arrest Jesus, but they feared his popularity—they knew He had directed the parable at them; they stopped and went away. (Mark 12) In this parable, Jesus address three kinds of people—hypocritical and controlling religious leaders, highly educated writers who shape the culture, and politicians friendly with Roman occupiers who urge submission—not independence. Today, you might think of them as those inauthentic, hypocritical religious leaders in so much of our American religions, the cultural class-setters who creates an unethical, conformist culture, and those politicians whose work to control rather than serve. You—a child of God—they reject—the odd one out—the conscientious one who worships our common Father in faith more than religious conformity, who defies amoral culture, and who acts to serve one another rather than blend into such a society. The Good News is your independence & persecution. You are free of the control of such people!

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