Third Sunday of Lent ~ March 20, 2022

Posted by Team Missio on Mar 16, 2022 9:13:16 AM

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Jesus reminds the people listening to Him that God expects us not only to believe in Him, but also to repent our sins and to live out our faith each day

Reflections on the readings for the Third Sunday of Lent (March 20, 2022): EX 3:1-8,13-15; PS 103:1-2,3-4,6-7,8,11; 1 COR 10:1-6,10-12; LK 13:1-9

MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.

Jesus wanted His followers to grasp that God loves them and gives each person every chance to be the good person He intended.

In the Gospel reading, people in the crowd around Jesus tell Him about devout individuals who had been killed on Pilates’s orders as they were making sacrifices. The crowd thought these people must have been guilty of sins for which they were being punished. Christ told them that those killed were no guiltier than any of them or their neighbors. He was not saying that those killed were sinless. On the contrary, He wanted His listeners to understand that they were all guilty of sin and that they all needed to repent. But our Lord also tried to teach them that this tragedy was not a punishment from God. So He told them a parable to help them -- and all of us -- understand that God wants us to recognize that when we close ourselves off from God’s will and act out of selfishness, we put ourselves at odds with Him. Jesus tells them about the owner of an orchard who talks with his gardener. “‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down’” (Luke 13:7-9). The gardener urges patience and says that he will even provide extra care to give the fig tree the best chance possible to bear fruit. Only then, if the tree continues to be barren, should it be cut down. 

Jesus wanted His followers to grasp that God loves them and gives each person every chance to be the good person He intended. He is not saying that sin does not matter. Our Redeemer wants us to remember that at some time we will all face death. And whether we have shown ourselves to be fruitful or not during the course of our lives will be clear. The decisions we make about embracing good or evil, about repenting our sins or moving away from God will be revealed. Painful, even terrible things can happen to people, good or bad. But the state of our souls is up to us. God will always give us the grace we need if we are willing to accept it.  

Suggested missionary action:  As we continue through Lent, we can make an effort to examine our conscience on a regular basis and to go to Confession. We can use this season as a time of renewal and growth, a time to turn closer to God and to treasure His love more deeply. 

Topics: Scripture reflection, Ordinary Time, God's grace, Faith

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