Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15│1 Corinthians 10:1-6,10-12 │ Luke 13:1-9
While the gospel and the second reading call us to repentance, the psalm reminds us of the response we can expect from God. The psalmist assure us that we have a God who “pardons all our iniquities, heals all our ills.” We can depend on the mercy of God because we have witnessed it throughout history. During Lent, we heed the gospel call to repent, knowing that our merciful God is always waiting with infinite mercy. This season helps us to protect against the overconfidence that Paul warns of. Instead of spending our spiritual lives in a self-satisfied bubble, we are called to place them under a microscope and to see where we are in need of God’s grace and forgiveness.
When Jesus tells the crowds that the must repent lest they perish, he is speaking of a spiritual death rather than a physical one. After all, the first part of the gospel is denying the all-to-human belief that bad things only happen to bad people. Jesus, however interprets these events differently. He does not see this as a just punishment for some hidden sin. Instead, he tells those who are self-righteous in their smugness that the same will happen to them unless they repent.. The parable also subtly informs the audience that they have not been producing the fruit of good works.
Third Sunday of Lent, March 24, 2019
When we read the familiar story of Moses at the burning bush we can place ourselves within that narrative. God calls from the bush, “Moses, Moses.” There is a pattern in the Bible that whenever someone’s name is called twice, his or her life is about to change forever. And Moses’ life does change. Just as with Moses, God also has a plan for each of our lives—to cooperate in building the kingdom of God on earth, a kingdom where all are cared for and where peace, love, and hope prevail.
As Christians, we are to consider ourselves as having participated in each of the great historical moments that we commemorate. Each time we come to the table of the Lord at Mass we are participating in the Last Supper, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Questions to Ponder
- God calls Moses by name and Moses answers, “Here I am.” How have you experienced God’s call in your own life? What has been your response?
- St. Paul admonishes us, “Do not grumble.” What situations in your life are met with grumbling? How might you greet them a different way?
- Jesus gave us the parable of the barren fit tree. Where in your life, family, community is there a lack of fruit being borne? How might you cultivate the ground to encourage fruitfulness?
Source: Living Liturgy (Liturgical Press, Year C 2019).