Luke 20:1

Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him and spoke to Him, saying, “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?”

But He answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me: The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men?”

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why [a]then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know where it was from.

And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Prayer:  O Lord, our God, in Thy goodness and love for men forgive me all the sins I have committed today in word, deed or thought. Grant me peaceful and undisturbed sleep. Send Thy Guardian Angel to guard and protect me from all evil. For Thou art the guardian of our souls and bodies, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
*(Evening Prayer and Confession of Sins)

Navarre Bible Commentary on Jesus’ Question

Our Lord’s public ministry is coming to an end. He has gone up from Jericho to Jerusalem on his last journey. He will stay in the city and its environs until his death. He has made his entry as Messiah into the Temple and has cleansed it. And with the authority of the Messiah he now preaches in the courtyards of the Temple. In this chapter the evangelist narrates a series of arguments provoked by Pharisees and Sadducees — about Jesus’ authority

To these sly questions Jesus replies immediately and very much to the point. The question “By what authority do you do these things” refers to everything our Lord has done. Therefore, the technical term “authority” must be taken in all its depth of meaning: What is the nature of Jesus’ authority and power. Because of the evil motivation behind the question, our Lord avoids giving a direct answer, countering instead by asking a question about John’s baptism. When the priests and scribes give an evasive reply our Lord simply closes the discussion: he asserts that he has the authority and he refuses to say how he got it. A few days later, when in the presence of the whole Sanhedrin he is solemnly asked if he is the Messiah and Son of God, he will reply by saying quite clearly that he is, thereby showing the basis of his authority and explaining why he has acted in the way he has

Prayer:  O come, let us worship God our King.
O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ our King and God.
O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and God.

Luke 20:

Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to ]vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time. 10 Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out.

13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.’ 14 But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15 So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.”

And when they heard it they said, “Certainly not!”

17 Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written:

‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone’?

18 Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”

19 And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they ]feared the people—for they knew He had spoken this parable against them.

Prayer:  Soul of Christ, sanctify me, Body of Christ, save me Blood of Christ, inebriate me, Water from Christ’s side, wash me, Passion of Christ, strengthen me, O good Jesus, hear me, Within Thy wounds hide me, Suffer me not to be separated from Thee, From the malicious enemy defend me, In the hour of my death call me, And bid me come unto Thee, That I may praise Thee with Thy saints, and with Thy angels, Forever and ever, Amen.

Navarre Commentary on the Vinedressers Part 1

As the days of his Passion draw near, our Lord spells out to the priests and scribes the seriousness of the sin they are committing by rejecting him, and the terrible consequences which will follow. That is the purpose of this parable, whose central theme is deeply rooted in Sacred Scripture and is very familiar to his listeners: the people of Israel are the vineyard of the Lord. Of the many places where this comparison is to he found in the Old Testament (Hos 10:1; Jer 10:21; 12:10; Ezek 19:10-14; Ps 80:8-19) one has special resonance — the Song of the vineyard which instead of yielding good grapes yielded only sour grapes (Is 5:1-7).; our Lord’s words seem to evoke that ancient prophetic complaint: “What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it?” Every character in the Gospel parable is very easy to identify: the vineyard is Israel; the tenants are the leaders of Israel; the servants sent by the lord to the vineyard are the prophets, so often ill-treated; the son is Jesus Christ, the only Son of the Father.


Prayer:  Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.  Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Part 1 commentary…

Jesus alludes to his death on the outskirts of the city; the tenants cast him out of the vineyard — Jerusalem — and put him to death. The owner of the vineyard is God. The leading priests and scribes understand what the end of the parable means and they are horrified, which is why they cry, “God forbid!”. For our Lord is saying that the owner of the vineyard will put the tenants to death and hand over the vineyard to others: the leaders of the people will be rejected. To underline the teaching in the parable our Lord concludes by applying to himself the words of Psalm 118:22: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner,” The parable contains a clear lesson for all of us: it is a grave sin to reject the Lord, to despise God’s grace. If our heart becomes hardened like those of those priests and scribes, we will inevitably hear from our Lord’s lips similar words of rejection.

The passage ends on a sad note: wounded in their pride by the clarity of what Jesus says, their hearts became even more hardened, to the point of planning to kill him.

Prayer:  Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit,  grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Luke 20:20 So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor.

21 Then they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You say and teach rightly, and You do not show personal favoritism, but teach the way of God in truth: 22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

23 But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, [e]“Why do you test Me? 24 Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?”

They answered and said, “Caesar’s.”

25 And He said to them, “Render[f] therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

26 But they could not catch Him in His words in the presence of the people. And they marveled at His answer and kept silent.

Prayer:  With the Saints, give rest, O Christ, to the souls of Thy servants, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no sighing, but life everlasting.
*Kontakion of the Departed


Navarre Commentary on paying taxes

The leaders of the people are trying to find some grounds for laying charges against Jesus: so they put to him two mischievous questions — about the legitimacy of Roman authority in Palestine and about the resurrection of the dead (vv. 27-39).

Their question about paying tribute to Caesar is malicious: if our Lord answers “Yes”, they will be able to accuse him of collaboration with the Romans, whom the Jews hated because they were invaders; if he answers “No”, it will allow them to report him to Pilate, the Roman ruler, as a rebel.

Our Lord’s reply takes the people by surprise, it is so simple, profound and prudent. It emphasizes a duty which obliges everyone — that of giving Gad his due. “Render to God the things that are God’s”. This phrase is the key to understanding Jesus’ reply in all its depth: recognition of God’s sovereignty comes before everything else.

Because he is true God and true man, Jesus Christ has authority over everything, even over temporal realities, but during his life on earth “he refrained from exercising that authority, and although he himself disdained to possess or to care for earthly things, he did not, nor does he today, interfere with those who possess them” (Pius XI, Quas primas). Our Lord acts in this way to make sure that his Kingdom — which is spiritual — is not confused with an earthly kingdom.

Prayer:  Lord, I have cried to Thee, hearken unto me. Hearken unto me, O Lord. Lord, I have cried to Thee, hearken unto me.  Attend to the voice of my prayer, when I cry unto Thee. Hearken unto me, O Lord. Let my prayer be set forth as incense before Thee, the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.  Hearken unto me, O Lord.
*Psalm 140 (141)