Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28 / Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
Whenever we mention "enemies" and "those who hate us" what are the faces that come to mind? Who are those that we can think of?
If too many faces come to mind, then it may mean that we are in big trouble. Because that would probably mean that we have made too many enemies.
On the other hand, the "enemies" or "those who hate us" may be nearer than we think. It could well be the case of "the enemy with us".
In the 1st reading, Joseph could have thought that he had no enemies. But he could have never thought that his "enemies" were his own brothers who stay with him under the same roof.
As the 1st reading puts it: But his brothers, seeing how his father loved him more than all his other sons, came to hate him so much that they could not say a civil word to him.
And when the opportunity arose, they even thought of killing him but changed their minds and sold him off to some merchants.
But in the gospel parable of the vineyard and the tenants, the landowner's son fell into the evil tenants' intentions and was killed by them.
Both readings remind us that thoughts are impetus to actions. Of course, good thoughts gives rise to acts of charity, and by the same take, bad thoughts give rise to immorality.
Emotions like anger, resentment and bitterness give rise to hate and violence and other undesirable actions.
The Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving are to help us cleanse our hearts of these undesirable thoughts so that we can see everyone as friends and lead them to experience the love of God.