BY: Fr. Evaristus E. Abu

(St Charles Lwanga and companions –Holy Martyrs of Uganda)

“What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants, and give the vineyard to others.” (Mark 12:9)

There is the story of a man who went into a restaurant and, upon noticing a black man sitting at the corner, decided to provoke the man for no reason. He ordered drinks for everybody in the restaurant except for this black man. He did this repeatedly, and the black man did not lose his calm. Surprised by the black man’s composure, the man whispered to the waiter: “What is the matter with that black man over there?” The waiter responded, “Sir, that man owns this restaurant.”


– This World Is Not Ours; We are Just Passing Through: Like the tenants in Jesus’ parable, we often forget that we are tenants on earth and there is nothing we can do to “own” the world. Job captured this reality perfectly when he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return.” (Job 1:21). No matter how much you achieve on earth, you will leave everything behind one day. So take it easy. Never forget you are not yet home.

– God Expects Fruits From Us: The landowner sent messengers to collect his harvest because he knew what the land could produce. A few days ago, we heard St. Peter say: “Beloved, I beseech you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh that wage war against your soul.” (1 Peter 2:11). As Jesus would say: “You are the light of the world.… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16). Our first fruit for God is the holiness of life. As mentioned in today’s first reading, other fruits include faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, and brotherly affection. When our lives reflect these virtues, we make God very happy.

– There is A Day of Reckoning: We live in a world that has turned its back on God. A world where people live as if there is no God. The tenants in Jesus’ parable assumed the landowner was dead and the land had become theirs. Nowadays, you hear phrases such as: “my body”, “my truth”, etc. It is not just your body; it is God’s temple. You don’t own yourself; you must account for your life before God. Jesus would say: “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. (Luke 12:42-43). Harvest Day is coming, a day you do not know. Are you prepared for it?

– You Be The Judge: After stating the parable, Jesus asked: “What will the vineyard’s owner do?” Imagine you were God; what would you do? In Matthew’s Gospel, the people responded: “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” (Matthew 21:41). If only they knew that by saying this, they were passing judgement on themselves, would they have been more lenient? It is easy to condemn others for sins committed, but it is not easy for us to examine our conscience and see the logs in our eyes. The tenants in question in this parable were the Jewish religious leaders who failed to recognise the Divinity of Jesus. They understood the parable and wanted to arrest Jesus for speaking the truth. Sometimes, we behave like them; instead of making adjustments in our lives, we attack people for being truthful to us.

– On St. Charles Lwanga: According to the Universalis App, many Christians, Catholic and Protestant, were killed by the Ugandan king Mwanga. Some were servants in the king’s palace or even his attendants. Charles Lwanga and his twenty-one companions (the youngest, Kizito, was only 13) were executed for being Christians, for rebuking the king for his debauchery and his murder of an Anglican missionary, for “praying from a book,” and for refusing to allow themselves to be ritually sodomised by the king. They died between 1885 and 1887. Most of them were burned alive in a group after being tortured. Within a year of their deaths, the number of catechumens in the country quadrupled. St. Charles Lwanga is the patron of Catholic Action and black African youth, and the Ugandan martyrs’ feast day is a public holiday in Uganda.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, may I never forget I am just a tenant and must give an account of my stewardship. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. May God’s abundant blessings be upon us all.


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