Jesus Christ – The Key Stone
The gospel parable about the landowner and the tenants of his vineyard is very challenging. On reading it, we may initially be shocked by the disrespect and aggression of the tenants who treated appallingly several messengers from the landowner. The parable advises us about the extent to which some people will go to further their own interests. They will do anything to have their own way. They will compromise their principles. They will blatantly disregard the reputations of friends and colleagues. They will intimidate and frighten them. More often and more sinfully, rejection is the result of jealousy and vindictiveness. We all know such instances from work but, even more so, from sport and politics — locally, nationally and internationally. Ironically, the messenger is often the only person who can help them or redeem the situation, if only they would have the good sense to recognise this. In the words of the parable: ‘It was the stone rejected by the builders that became the keystone’ (Mt 21:42). While this is true in our human relationships, it is particularly true in our relationships with God.
Frequently, we may reject the challenging message of the Gospel. We may despise those who live good and wholesome lives because their goodness is a rebuke to our conscience and we are jealous and resentful. We may fail to realise that when we reject other people and treat them harshly, we do the same to Christ who lives in them and who is their brother. Likewise, when we reject Christ’s teaching spoken to us by family and others, we also reject Christ speaking to us through them. In rejecting Christ, we reject the eternal life that he has won for us through his suffering, death and resurrection. Christ is the keystone, so often rejected, yet so necessary for our salvation and the salvation of all people. Without Christ we cannot have life with God. The parable invites us to turn to Christ again. It urges us not to reject Christ in our lives simply because we dislike the challenge of his message. He is the keystone who establishes and maintains our relationships with God.