Luke 20.13, 38
“Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’

Reflection: Abandoning Sinful Hopes :: Hope of Advent
By John Tillman

In Christ’s parable, the advent of the landowner’s son was revealing. It revealed the sinful depths of the tenant farmers’ hearts.

In their hearts, they denied their own identity as tenants and stewards.
They maintained the pretense that they were owners, the sole determiners of their fate.
They denied that they relied on the landowner.
They denied what they owed the landowner.
They eventually, through murder, attempted to deny the existence of the landowner.

They are remarkably like us.

In the context of Luke, this parable is tied directly to Christ’s advent to Jerusalem. It is targeted directly, scandalously, at the religious leaders. The religious leaders understood it, but his disciples seem to miss the point. The twelve, despite this parable, don’t realize that Jesus is not about to enact the landowner’s revenge that they hope for, but the son’s unjust murder.

But the parable can also be applied to us. Are we so different in what we wish for, than the religious leaders and disciples who first heard this parable? Aren’t we in many ways waiting for the things they were waiting for? Revenge? Power? Worldly success?

Christ’s Advent will be revealing in our lives. Too often what we hope for condemns us.

Do we hope for salvation from our lusts, or the submission of others to fulfill our lusts?
Do we hope for deliverance from our desire for power, or that worldly power (and people) would be delivered for our domination?
Do we hope to be freed from our greed, or for others to appease our greed?
Do we hope for the freedom to live out Christ’s directives to us, or for the power to enslave others to our directives?

What are you waiting for? Let go of the sinful things you hope for. Give them up to him. Grasp instead the abundance of God’s grace that is our hope.

Prayer: The Request for Presence
For God alone my soul in silence wits, truly, my hope is in him.  — Psalm 62:6

– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Prayers from The Divine Hours available online and in print.

Today’s Readings
Habakkuk 1 (Listen – 2:39)
Luke 20 (Listen – 5:07)

Additional Reading
Read More about Fasting According to our Lusts :: Throwback Thursday
May we fast from whatever lust holds our heart most tightly, loosening its grip on us and tightening our grip on Jesus Christ.

Read More about In Denial about Greed and Power
Ezekiel’s purposely shocking parable is intended to connect the established shame of sexual sins to the sins Israel was unashamed of—greed and pursuit of power.

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