St. Theophan the Recluse: The Vineyard of the Soul
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Friday, October 7 (September 24), 2022

Eph. 4:8-17:25; Mk. 12:1-12


The Parable of the Vineyard [Mk. 12:1-9] shows the Old-Testament Church and Lord’s care about her.  The New-Testament Church is her heir, so the parable can be applied to the New-Testament Church as well, and since every Orthodox Christian is by himself a church of the Living God, then also to everyone individually.  This is particularly important for us.

What is the vineyard in such understanding?   It is a human soul which has been given everything by the Lord: forgiveness of sins, grace of spiritual revival, gifts of the Holy Spirit as a pledge of the inheritance of the Eternal Kingdom, the Word of God, Holy Sacraments, the Guardian Angel.  Who are the husbandmen?  The mind and free will.  They receive the gifts, taking a vow to develop them and bring fruits to the Lord.  Who are the negligent husbandmen? Those who take advantage of their Christian appearance in the external order of life, without bringing good spiritual fruits to God.  Who are the messengers from the Lord?  Conscience with the fear of God, His word, His teachers and pastors through whom He is trying to correct the negligent ones.  But those who don’t want a correction don’t heed to the messengers: they send them away, suppress their voices or even wage war against God Himself, rejecting the Faith in Him under various pretexts. And what is the end of the story? “Those wicked men will be miserably destroyed” [Mt. 21:41] .