It is the eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost. Today’s Bach cantata is “Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott: (Take away from us, Lord, faithful God):
Today’s Gospel reading is Matthew 21:33-46:
The Parable of the Tenants
“Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.
“The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.
“But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
“Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
“He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.
The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:
Take away from us, Lord, faithful God,
the heavy punishment and great suffering,
which we, with countless sins
have too much deserved.
Protect us against war and precarious times,
against plagues, fire, and great misery.
Do not deal with us wicked servants of sin
according to your justice;
let the sword of the enemy rest!
Highest, hear our pleading,
so that, through sinful acts,
we might not be destroyed like Jerusalem!
Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.