Third Sunday of Lent, 20/03/2022, Year C, Lk 13, 1-9
On Ash Wednesday, when you received the ashes, the priest make a cross on your forehead and says “ Repent and believe in the Gospel”. Or we are called to “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return”. It remind us of our origin and how we should behaviour to seek the mercy of God.
The Kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel. Time is short. People have to make a choice , We have to seize the day, make a decision. In today’s Gospel Jesus was confronted about two issues; Pilate’s brutality to the Galileans and eighteen people who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell.
The people informed Jesus of these two situations thinking that they were better off. While it was true that they were suffering oppression and injustice from the Roman. Our life today is simply a privilege and this privilege is an opportunity for you to repent or experience the same fate as those who have died. God does not will the death of His creatures, neither does he enjoy watching unrepentant sinners die, that is why there is always a second chance with God. In Ezekiel 18:23 the Lords says: ” I do not take pleasure in the death of a wicked man( sinner) rather let him or her turn from his/her evil ways and live”. It is our sins that brings about death, when we sin, we consciously choose to abandoned the way of life and to embrace the way that leads to death.
With the story of the fig tree, the lesson is clear; just as the fig tree is given a chance to bear fruit, all of us will be given chances to repent and bear fruit. The opportunity should be seized as soon as possible.
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. That is what Saint Paul tells us in the second reading while he reminds and warns the Corinthians what had happened with the chosen people those who not follow the way of God. Although God’s love for us is constant and consistent. He showed his mercy and remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by sending Moses to save his people from their slavery.
In the Book “The name of God is mercy.” Pope Francis says that recognizing oneself as a sinner is a gift in that sin is where I encounter the mercy of Jesus.
God 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.