Sem. George Diones
Our Gospel reading today presents us a very good story about the parable of the tenants. The landowner, after planting his vineyard, he also builds a tower and dug a wine press in preparation for the harvest time. Afterwards, he entrusted it to his tenants and he went on a journey. And remember the landowner “entrusted his vineyard” to the tenants only for them to take care of it. Meaning, the tenants were mere “caretakers” or “stewards” of the vineyard, in Filipino, it captures the meaning as “pinagkatiwalan or katiwala.”
What does it mean to be a steward? According to the New Webster Collegiate Dictionary, a steward is a person entrusted with the management of the affairs of other, or a person put in charge of something. So in other words, the stewards are merely caretakers of something on behalf of the master or the owner. And in our gospel today, the tenants or the “stewards” during the harvest season they refuse to share the fruits or the gifts that are entrusted to them. They forget that they are mere “caretakers of the vineyard”; they are not the owners.
And with these, I would like to mention the Four Principles of Biblical Stewardship. First, The principle of ownership. This is the fundamental principle. God owns everything; we are simply managers or administrators acting on his behalf. Therefore, stewardship expresses our obedience regarding the administration of everything God has placed under our control, which is all-encompassing.
Second, The principle of responsibility. Owners have rights; stewards have responsibilities. We are called as God’s stewards to manage that which belongs to God. While God has graciously entrusted us with the care, development, and enjoyment of everything he owns as his stewards, we are responsible to manage his holdings well and according to his desires and purposes.
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