In Galilee, the long absences of the landlords and the poverty of the farmers often caused difficulties between them. That sometimes led to the rent collectors being assaulted. Matthew uses this story as a summary of the history of our salvation.
The landlord’s servants represent the prophets God sent to Israel, only to be treated with disdain and violence. The son is clearly a figure of Jesus Himself, dragged out of Jerusalem to be murdered.
We too are called to take care of the vineyard the Lord has entrusted to us, to build up the Kingdom in the world and help it bear fruit and to cultivate in our lives our faith and prayer, our relationships with the people we know and among whom we live – our families, our friends, our colleagues. Vines are hardy, and benefit from stony ground and being vigorously pruned. They grow better when they’re cultivated and cared for. Hopefully, the same is true for us!