All three of today’s readings speak of God’s mercy and compassion in disciplining His children by occasional punishment while giving them another chance despite their repeated sins. Although God’s love for us is constant and consistent, He will not save us without our co-operation. That is why He invites us during Lent to repent of our sins and to renew our lives by producing fruits of love, compassion, forgiveness, and faithful service.
The first reading tells us how God shows His mercy to His chosen people by giving them: Moses as their leader and liberator. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (v. 6) reveals Himself to Moses from the burning bush and assures Moses of His Divine presence with His people and of His awareness of their sufferings in Egypt. He declares His intention to use Moses as the leader who will rescue His enslaved people. Then God reveals His name as Yahweh (“I AM Who AM”) and renews His promise to the patriarchs (v. 8), to give them a “land flowing with milk and honey.”
Washing of the Feet and Last Supper Celebration at 6:30 p.m. Adoration after mass until 10:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall “So could you not stay awake with me for just one hour?”
Ex 3:1-8A, 13-15/1 Cor 10:1-6, 10-12 / Lk 13:1-9
A seemingly minor player in today’s gospel is the fig tree that does not bear fruit. The owner of the orchard wants to cut it down because it is exhausting the soil. The gardener, however, asks for the opportunity to give the tree special attention, to cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it. This, brothers and sisters, is stewardship. We are surrounded by fruitless fig trees...some of us may even BE the fig tree! Discipleship does not mean we stand and stare and complain about the tree’s lack of fruit. It doesn’t mean grumbling about the way it is exhausting the soil. Discipleship means helping that fig tree be FULLY ALIVE by caring for it. Like the gardener, we have to get our hands dirty as we nurture the tree and help it bear fruit. This means praying for and with one another, going to Mass together, and discovering the unique "fruits" God has placed within each of us. Just as the fig tree cannot fertilize itself, neither can we alone sustain ourselves. Stewardship means supporting one another.