Third Sunday of Lent

Sunday March 24, 2019
Third Sunday of Lent – Year C Readings
Lectionary: 30

A Reading from the Gospel according to Luke
Lk 13:1-9
Some people told Jesus about the Galileans
whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices.
Jesus said to them in reply,
"Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way
they were greater sinners than all other Galileans?
By no means!
But I tell you, if you do not repent,
you will all perish as they did!
Or those eighteen people who were killed
when the tower at Siloam fell on them—
do you think they were more guilty
than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem?
By no means!
But I tell you, if you do not repent,
you will all perish as they did!"

And he told them this parable:
"There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard,
and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none,
he said to the gardener,
'For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree
but have found none.
So cut it down.
Why should it exhaust the soil?'
He said to him in reply,
'Sir, leave it for this year also,
and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it;
it may bear fruit in the future.
If not you can cut it down.'"

Salesian Sunday Reflection

Third Sunday of Lent

Today’s readings speak to the catechumens who are preparing for baptism. The Scriptures reveal how God cares for those who, like Moses and the Samaritan women, have faith and hope in the Word of God and live it. St. Francis de Sales notes: “Moses’ faith in God’s Word allowed him to use his rod to make water flow from the rock. Attentiveness to God’s Word is necessary to sustain us in our responsibilities in this world. Our entire good lies in accepting the truth of God’s Word and persevering in it. In the Eucharist we are nourished by the Divine Word made flesh.”

We need to grow in God’s Word. Even outside of your prayer, keep yourself as if you were in prayer. Renew yourself throughout the day with thoughts of God’s infinite goodness. Good reading, too, helps the heart come alive and gain new strength and vigor.

Yet, we also ought to nourish and strengthen the divine word by opening our hearts. We must remain attentive and reflect on what God has to say to us in the depths of our hearts. We must digest the divine word so that it becomes a part of us in such a way that we are nourished and strengthened by it. Then, like Jesus, we will put our words into action. We will carry out what we are taught, discerning carefully the needs at hand.

Our Savior desires that we have great confidence in Divine Providence. All who trust in God always reap the fruits of this confidence. Our Savior takes tender care of those who have a great willingness to abandon to Him their weariness and anxious care of advancing in holiness.

We may question whether we will always have the will to please God during our entire life.  Alas! There is nothing so weak and changeable as we are. So let us frequently place our good intention before the Lord, who will strengthen our willingness as often as is necessary, so that we have sufficient determination to live God’s Word in this life. 

(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales)