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Church calls us to continual change

Based on the Readings Ex 3:1-8a, 13-15; 1 Cor 10:1-6, 10-12; Lk 13:1-9
This Sunday’s Scripture readings call for ongoing response to God’s love and grace and true repentance.

In Exodus, God tells Moses he will continue to fulfill his promise of help and protection to the Israelites. In revealing the divine name, “I AM,” God offers Moses and the Israelites an intimate relationship/covenant that will not forsake them.

Paul, in First Corinthians, recalls the desert journey of their ancestors and their occasional lapses into unfaithfulness and sin. He reminds the Corinthians that as God reveals his love and goodness to them they must respond appropriately.

The Gospel echoes the need for us to cooperate with God. Repentance means much more than words of regret or sorrow for sins. True repentance calls for action on our part – a complete turning away from sin and an eager returning to God.

Lent is an opportunity for us to do just that – to examine our lives and to remove anything that keeps us from cooperating with God’s grace to live our faith.

The Gospel parable of the fig tree challenges us to spend Lent digging around our roots and fertilizing them with prayer, Scripture reading, reception of the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist, sacrifices and almsgiving in order to bear good fruit.

Like the Gospel, the church calls us to continual repentance, conversion and change. We must wholeheartedly and courageously use every opportunity for growth in our faith that God provides.

During three years of public ministry, Jesus, Master Gardener, taught and preached about God’s love and invited people to turn from sin and follow him.

Jesus is the gardener who pleaded for us before God the Father.

Jesus is the gardener who cultivated and fertilized the ground by sacrificing his life to save us. The cross on which Jesus died is the tree that was cut down so we would be saved; it is the tree of life. Jesus, by his death and Resurrection, is the fruit of that tree so that we can live, bear the good fruits of his love and someday gain heaven.

“The Lord is kind and merciful!” (Ps 103).