The Gospel of the day (Mark 12, 1–12)

The Parable of the Tenants

12 Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.

“He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’

“But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.

“What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
11 the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’[a]?”

12 Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.

The bad thoughts and their removal

Saint John Casian, Spiritual talks, Ist part, The first talk with father Moses, Cap. XVI, Cap. XVII, 1-2, Cap. XVIII, 1-3, in Church Fathers and Writers (1990), vol. 57, pp. 320-321

Germanos: How is it explained the fact that there are sneaking and pervading us useless thoughts which are hard to expel or understand or clarify them? Can the mind ever escape of them and never fall in the trap of these vain deceits?

Moses: It is not possible for the mind to be troubled by such thoughts but it can fight against them and overcome them. If it does not depend on us their apparition it is in our power their disapproval or acceptance? As I said, it is impossible not to have the mind assaulted by such thoughts but we must not blame for these attacks and temptations the evil spirits who try to enter in us. Otherwise the man would not have the freedom to choose and could correct himself.

I declare that it depends to a great extent on us to correct our thoughts, to make grow in our hearts only the holy, spiritual thoughts, not the earthly, carnal ones. That is why we always read the Holy Gospel and meditate upon it to offer our memory the opportunity to receive the spiritual stuff, that is why we often chant psalms to form ourselves in their atmosphere, that is why we keep vigils, fast and pray without cease, so that our hearts may reject what is earthly and fill with the heavenly. We must always take this into account so that our mind covered by the ringworm of vices won`t hesitate and fall in the territories of the flesh.


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