Today is Friday, the 21st of March, in the Second Week of Lent.

The monks of Glenstal Abbey sing: ‘Attende Domine’  Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against you.
As you sit here and listen to this ancient chant, which has been sung for generations, pause to remind yourself that God is present here, a God of forgiveness, gracious and loving, slow to anger, abounding in goodness.  Take this moment to recognise God’s presence here, and to place yourself and all your cares in God’s loving hands.

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.

Another famous story told by Jesus. Once again it might well be that this was a true story, based on something that actually had happened; very possibly everyone listening to Him already knew of a landowner who had planted a vineyard, put a fence around it and then a watchtower, but then it all went wrong for him as the tenants didn’t play their part and ruined all his plans. It was a pretty arresting story, shocking even; it certainly would have grabbed their attention. Think of yourself listening to the story as He would have told it, and draw your own attention to what it evokes in you; what are the words you might use to describe your reaction?

When He had finished the story, Jesus had a bit more to say. And that might be, for some, rather unsettling as He quotes the ancient scriptures, and draws a powerful connection. What are your reactions?

As you listen again, pay particularly close attention to how the authorities react to Jesus and his teaching.

When you heard the reaction of the authorities, how did that make you feel towards Jesus? Can you form an impression of how He felt about that? Can you speak to Him about that – their reaction, his reaction to them, your reaction to what you’ve just seen and heard? Speak to him quietly in your own heart, in whatever words seem good to you at this time.