Our existence is built on Christ


In the parable of the murderous vinedressers Jesus summarizes the history of salvation. He compares Israel to a chosen vineyard, provided with a fence, a winepress and a watchtower where the guard is placed to protect it from thieves and vermin. God did not fail to apply any care to the vineyard of his love, to his people, as had already been prophesied. The vinedressers in the parable are the leaders of the people of Israel, the owner is God, and the vineyard is Israel, as the People of God.

The owner sends his servants again and again to receive his fruits, and they received only bad treatment. This was the mission of the prophets. Finally, he sent his Son, the Beloved, thinking that he would be respected. Here the difference between Jesus, the Son, and the prophets, who were servants, is pointed out. The parable refers to the transcendent and unique filiation, and clearly expresses the divinity of Jesus Christ. The vinedressers cast him out of the vineyard and killed him; this is an explicit reference to the crucifixion, which took place outside the walls of Jerusalem. The Lord, who discreetly mentions Himself in the parable, must have spoken with great sorrow, seeing how He is rejected by those to whom He comes to bring salvation. They do not love Him. Jesus will end by saying these words, taken from a Psalm: The stone which the builders rejected, this has become the cornerstone.

The leaders of Israel understood the clearly messianic meaning of the parable and that it was addressed to them. So they tried to seize him, but once again they feared the people.

St. Peter will remember the words of Jesus before the Sanhedrin, when the prediction contained in the parable has already been fulfilled: let it be clear to all of you and to all the people of Israel that it was for the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified.... He is the stone which, rejected by you builders, has become the cornerstone. Jesus Christ is constituted as the keystone of the arch that supports and founds the whole building. He is the essential stone of the Church, and of every man: without him the building collapses.

The cornerstone affects the whole construction, the whole of life: business, interests, loves, time...; nothing remains outside the demands of faith in the life of the Christian. We are not disciples of Christ at certain times (when we pray, for example, or when we attend a religious ceremony...), or on certain days.... The profound unity of life that being a Christian demands determines that, while everything remains with its own nature, it is affected by the fact of being a disciple of Jesus. To follow Christ influences the most intimate nucleus of our personality. In those who are deeply in love, this fact influences all things and events, no matter how trivial they may seem: when walking down the street, at work, in the way we behave in social relationships..., and not only when we are in the presence of the person we love. Being Christian is the most important characteristic of our existence, and it must have an incomparably greater influence on our life than human love has on the person most in love.

Jesus Christ is the center to which our being and our life refer. Let us suppose an architect," says Cassian, "wishing to build the vault of an apse. He must trace the entire circumference starting from a key point: the center. Guided by this infallible rule, he must then calculate the exact roundness and design of the structure (...). This is how a single point becomes the fundamental key to an imposing construction". In a similar way, the Lord is the center of reference for our thoughts, words and deeds. We want to build our existence in relation to him.