Lent, as a path to the Cross, is building in intensity. On Wednesday Christ began His final journey to Jerusalem, and we had the first clear prophecy of the Passion; today, the Pharisees begin to plot against Him. Just as Joseph's brothers schemed against him from a distance, so too do the Pharisees against Jesus. They are never able to close the distance between themselves, the guardians of the Law, and Christ, the fulfillment of that Law. Christ reminds them today that they are only guardians, tenants of a land not theirs. That land and that guardianship can be taken away from them by the owner. They were afraid that if Jesus gained too much popularity, Rome would send its army and destroy Israel, and they would lose the land. They were trying to hang on to their inheritance; but by doing that, they lost it to others. It was never theirs; they were only the tenants. Its produce was not for them but for God, and they had forgotten that.
What God gives to us, both on a grand scale and in small ways, is not for us to cling to and protect from Him. Our part is to tend and nurture, and to return to Him the fruit it yields.