Archive for March 23, 2019

Third Sunday of Lent

Posted: March 23, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Fruits of the Fig: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Third Sunday of Lent

Readings:

Exodus 3:1–8, 13–15
Psalm 103:1–4, 6–8, 11
1 Corinthians 10:1–6, 10–12
Luke 13:1–9

In the Church, we are made children of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God who makes known His name and His ways to Moses in today’s First Reading.

Mindful of His covenant with Abraham (see Exodus 2:24), God came down to rescue His people from the slave drivers of Egypt. Faithful to that same covenant (see Luke 1:54–55, 72–73), He sent Jesus to redeem all lives from destruction, as today’s Psalm tells us.

Paul says in today’s Epistle that God’s saving deeds in the Exodus were written down for the Church, intended as a prelude and foreshadowing of our own Baptism by water, our liberation from sin, our feeding with spiritual food and drink.
Yet the events of the Exodus were also given as a “warning”—that being children of Abraham is no guarantee that we will reach the promised land of our salvation.

At any moment, Jesus warns in today’s Gospel, we could perish—not as God’s punishment for being “greater sinners”—but because, like the Israelites in the wilderness, we stumble into evil desires, fall into grumbling, forget all His benefits.

Jesus calls us today to “repentance”—not a one-time change of heart, but an ongoing, daily transformation of our lives. We’re called to live the life we sing about in today’s Psalm—blessing His holy name, giving thanks for His kindness and mercy.
The fig tree in His parable is a familiar Old Testament symbol for Israel (see Jeremiah 8:3; 24:1–10). As the fig tree is given one last season to produce fruit before it is cut down, so too Jesus is giving Israel one final opportunity to bear good fruits as evidence of its repentance (see Luke 3:8).
Lent should be for us like the season of reprieve given to the fig tree, a grace period in which we let “the gardener,” Christ, cultivate our hearts, uprooting what chokes the divine life in us, strengthening us to bear fruits that will last into eternity.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 23, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Let us not take the love and mercy of our Heavenly Father for granted! When will we come to our senses and see the goodness and abundance in which He provides for us. Not so in luxuries but the fullness and richness of life filled with peace, joy and love in our hearts.

Many still will take all they can get from Him, then stray to lead wanton, decadent lifestyles. Their search for happiness never ends and soon enough they find only misery. For some it will be too late before they wake up to the reality of it all. Yes indeed the Lord is slow to anger and merciful but do not wait to the very end to turn back to Him. Come now as you are, sinful wretched and sorrowful. He will embrace you with His loving arms, heal and restore you.

Finally for those who are already serving Him with love in your heart for Him and for neighbour, then you are truly living in His presence. For there will Never ever be resentment in your heart come what may. For you know that you are truly and greatly loved by your Heavenly Father. Amen

First reading

Micah 7:14-15,18-20 †
Have pity on us one more time

With shepherd’s crook, O Lord, lead your people to pasture, the flock that is your heritage,living confined in a forest with meadow land all around.
Let them pasture in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old. As in the days when you came out of Egypt grant us to see wonders.

What god can compare with you: taking fault away,
pardoning crime, not cherishing anger for ever
but delighting in showing mercy?
Once more have pity on us,
tread down our faults, to the bottom of the sea throw all our sins. Grant Jacob your faithfulness, and Abraham your mercy, as you swore to our fathers from the days of long ago.

Gospel

Luke 15:1-3,11-32
The prodigal son

The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he spoke this parable to them:
‘A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, “Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me.” So the father divided the property between them. A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.
‘When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch, so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, “How many of my father’s paid servants have more food than they want, and here am I dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.” So he left the place and went back to his father.
‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.” And they began to celebrate.
‘Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about. “Your brother has come” replied the servant “and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.” He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, “Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening.”
‘The father said, “My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.”’