My thoughts (David Zier):
Like the Pharisees, we can be proud of our spiritual lives and achievements. We can be really good at our jobs, get involved in all kinds of activities that make us better people, and be super involved at church and our communities. Nothing wrong with that! Then before we know it, it is all about us. My plan, my class, my agenda, my work. Look at me… Look at what I did! See how great I am? Is this really me?
When we get like this, what happens to God? We are attempting to build our own little kingdom and be God ourselves. We can forget about Christ and his teachings. It becomes all about “me.” God kind of gets pushed aside. Jesus who?
This is like the tenant of the vineyard. The tenant took on the land as if it was his own, and felt threatened when the owner sent people to the vineyards to collect the fruits. Even the heirs that were sent were killed.
What happens when we get caught up in our own accomplishments, or our ideas that somehow makes us out to be God? When we get so caught up in the religiosity of it, as the Pharisees had, we seek self gratification, and not the building of God’s kingdom on earth. Even though we might think things are working out because we see how great we are, we can get blinded, and the wrong intentions can lead us down the path of living religiously and for self, and not in the spirit of producing the kind of fruit that builds up God’s reign on earth.
It is a blessing to feel good and blessed in doing God’s work. But when I get caught up in the notion that “it’s all about me,” I can become a self-gratifier and forget about building what God is calling us to do on this earth. Helping others, seeing others, listening to others, and bringing justice for others is about them and doing God’s work. It’s not all about me.
Prayer for the day: God, I ask that you touch my heart so that I can examine my motives and actions. Please accept my works in the name of Christ and give me the insight to better understand when it becomes “all about me.” Allow me to produce the fruit of love and grace, with humility. Amen.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.