In many of Jesus’ parables the roles seem clear. We easily cast God as the forgiving father, Jesus as the bridegroom, or ourselves as the lost sheep. Parables, however, need not have cut and dried roles.Viewing these stories from different angles can open our heart to new experiences of God.

Today’s parable is no different. We can easily cast God as the landowner, Jesus as his son, and ourselves as the tenants. For your own prayer, try recasting parts. Put yourself in the position of the landowner and listen to the questions which may come to you.

Are you able to trust as freely as the landowner? What or who in your life produces fruit and gives God glory? Are you able to let go of things which do not bear fruit? In this Lenten springtime of faith, let us shed anything which prohibits us from bearing fruit.

—Mark Bartholet is the Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation at St. Peter Catholic Church, a Jesuit-staffed parish in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also a graduate of John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.