Third Sunday of Lent, 24th March, 2019
Gospel: Luke 13:1-9
Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’
He told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”‘
The Gospel of the Lord
Donal Neary S.J.
God of the second chance: The fig tree
This seems a rather strange story about Galileans being killed by Pilate. They were no greater sinners than others, but people thought they were being punished by God. Jesus asks us to repent, but does not punish the sinner. Repent is the word of Lent – and followed by the invitation to believe the good news of the gospel.
A fig tree had three years to get good. It is a precious tree because it uses little water. This one has not produced its fruit. Is God the one to get rid of the tree or the one to give it another chance? God is the God of the second chance all the time.
Never give up on his love! We may need to give God another chance. We know we get angry at times. People find that many good things can happen even in bad times. Let’s have that faith and pray for it. God gives us chance after chance in our lives, as He wants our faith in him to grow.
We ask also that we now give the Church another chance. So this is a day of more chances, that life never folds up. We need to return more and more to the gospel and the goodness of so many people, which will lead us in our Church communities to Christ. We do not belittle some terrible things that happened, nor lessen our care for those abused, but ask to take a deeper step to the God who is the one giving and asking us for another chance!
Renew us O Lord,
in love, in hope and in joy
in your care for us.
Gospel and Gosple Reflection are taken from Mass Readings and Sunday Homily - Catholicireland.net.