A Reflection on the Readings for the Third Sunday of Lent, March 20, 2022
Reading I: Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15
Responsorial Psalm: 103:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8, 11
Reading II: 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12
Gospel: Luke 13:1-9
It seems as though the Lenten season just began yesterday, but here we are approaching the third Sunday of Lent. Time is flying by, and in all the busyness of our daily lives, we are being called to slow down and take a minute (preferably more) to reflect on the message of the Gospels, to reflect on our lives with that message in mind and consider how we have come to be where we are.
The readings for this weekend move us to think about the past, that journey that not only the Israelites underwent, but also us; how did we get here as a people of God, as disciples of Christ? Well, it is quite simple if we only see that it was through radical love and forgiveness.
Over the next three weeks, we will hear those great stories of radical love, the gracious second chances given to the Barren Fig Tree, the Prodigal Son, and the Woman Caught in Adultery.
This coming Sunday, we are presented with the unproductive fig tree. I have to say that this parable resonates with me. I can say with certainty that areas of my life seem to exhaust everyone around me, those moments where I am bearing no fruit whatsoever. Year after year, I resolve to do better, eat healthier, be less sloppy, be on time, depend less on others’ kindness and resolve to depend on my own discipline more.
Many times, I can look back and recognize that once again, I have failed to overcome one or more of these deficiencies within my life. It’s as if I can hear that fig tree crying out, “Stop! Please! I’ll work harder. I’ll take less and give more. Please give me a second chance. I don’t want to die.” What a great sigh of relief when I receive that second chance when I hear the Gardener—the Divine Gardener—promise to sacrifice his own efforts to save the life of the fig tree.
This Third Sunday of Lent, we are being asked to consider how we are constantly under the care of the Divine Gardener. A gardener wants us to be fruitful and give to others around us, both in love and forgiveness.
In preparation, let us take a minute to slow down and prayerfully reflect on second chances; how have we given or received radical love and forgiveness?
Deacon Jeff Borski