1 Kings 21: 1-20
Naboth’s Vineyard: God confirms our discussion through a story.
When we opened the Bible reading of Naboth’s vineyard on Oct 20th, it was particularly pertinent to a situation that we just discussing before prayer group.
A fellow Crusader had been persecuted (by the majority) at an RCIA meeting for upholding the truth about practising homosexuals and the responsibilities of priests in not knowingly giving Communion to those in a state of mortal sin. And the same goes for refusing other groups or individuals who do not have the right to demand participation in the Sacrament, while remaining in mortal sin.
When we read this scripture of Naboth’s Vineyard, it spoke to me of this same situation.
Naboth was a righteous man who refused to give his inheritance to Ahab. He believed he had no right to sell his inheritance at all. The inheritance was a vineyard which King Ahab thought he might use for a common vegetable garden. King Ahab was annoyed and petulant at being refused the plot that he wanted. His evil wife, Jezebel, concocted an evil plot to get rid of Naboth and take over the vineyard, which they fulfilled with the help of unrighteous men.
In this case, I thought the vineyard represents the Holy Eucharist (and the Church: Her traditions and Magisterium) which is our inheritance. We have no right, like Naboth proclaims, to give it away. This makes some people angry and somewhat petulant; that we will not give what is Holy (the Vine; which is Jesus’ Body and Blood in the Eucharist and the vineyard: His Church) to those who stubbornly remain in a state of mortal sin and are therefore not entitled to receive of the Sacraments. It rouses them to plot and plan ways to take what they are not entitled to.
PF was also annoyed that the plot to change the conditions for reception of the Eucharist at the Synod, failed. The common vegetable garden represents the intention he really has, which is to replace The Lord’s Vineyard’, with common bread by changing the words of The Consecration and deviating the meaning in the hearts and minds of followers and in the Church practices.
Notice what God draws attention to next…
Afterwards though, the Lord sent Elijah the Tishbite to meet Ahab at the vineyard as he was about to take possession of it, telling him to say, ‘You have already committed murder, do you now also dare to take possession of what is not yours?’
Continuing this interpretation, the sin of murder represents all mortal sin, and by inference all those in an unrepentant state of mortal sin!
Do you dare…? He says, through Elijah.
Those in a state of mortal sin are warned by God that they should NOT take possession of what is not theirs for the taking– adding Sacrilege to mortal sin. The passage continues with a warning prophesy against Ahab:
Then say to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood—yes, yours!’ ”
20 Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!” “I have found you,” he answered, “because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD”.
We cannot hide from the Lord if we do evil, even if we think our desire is a ‘reasonable request’ or a ‘wise move before men’. The priest must not acquiesce to ‘Jezebel’s’ pressure (in the dissenting congregation) but respect and protect the Eucharist and our inheritance; in fact the whole of the Church’s Teaching, Magisterium and Her Traditions.
We must be ready to resist the current ‘king’ (pope and other church leaders) even through false accusation and death, as Naboth did, and also to fulfil our role like Elijah the Tishbite, when we are called to do so.
We must unveil the plans and deeds of wicked men, warn them in the Name of God and admonish them.
(Picture courtesy of: http://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/naboth-ahab/)