Third Sunday of Lent - Msgr. Simas

As we enter the halfway point of Lent, we hear the psalmist tell us, “Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness.” Ps. 103 We are not journeying alone, the Lord is with us.

Today’s readings remind us to be open and receptive to encountering God in our everyday lives. The Gospel echoes the focus on repentance from the beginning and ending of Lent and the necessity of growing along the way, of personal conversion.

In the first reading, Moses, unexpectedly encounters God in a burning bush. God tells Moses, “I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry of complaint against their slave drivers, so I know well what they are suffering. Therefore, I have come down to rescue them…” Ex.

In our second reading, recalling past human failures in history, St. Paul encourages us to be vigilant as we make our Lenten journey.

In the Gospel, Jesus affirms the realities of death and also the need to repent from sins. He insists that his followers must grow, change and repent from sin throughout life, saying directly “I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish.” Paraphrasing a former school principal, Jan Cooper, “what part of ‘if you do not repent’ doesn’t understand?’”

Jesus offers the parable of the fig tree as a way to reflect on what repentance entails.

Some of the early Fathers of the Church tell us thatthe compassionate gardener, who begs that the fruitless fig tree not be cut down, is Jesus, who intercedes for us until the end of time:“Wait a little while, (the gardener says), I shall cultivate the ground around the tree and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not, you can cut it down.” LK We are given time to reflect upon, repent, and amend our shortcomings.

As in Moses’ time, God continues to act among us, seeking people willing to wonder, to fall in love with God, and then to act accordingly.



今天的讀經提醒我們要敞開心靈,隨時準備在日常生活中與天主相遇。福音也呼應了對四旬期中要求我們悔改的重點。尤其是每個人在這段時間內,不斷地轉變,與成長的必要性。 讀經一說到,梅瑟無意間在燃燒的灌木叢中遇到了天主。上主說:「我看見我的百姓,在埃及所受的痛苦;聽見他們因工頭的壓迫,而發出的哀號;我已注意到他們的痛苦。所以我要下去,拯救他們」讀經二聖保祿宗徒回顧過去人類在歷史上的失敗,鼓勵我們保持警惕,在四旬期時要小心,免得跌倒。在福音中,耶穌指出了死亡的必然性,也告訴了我們需要悔改的迫切。他堅持基督徒必須終生不斷地成長,改變,並且悔罪。祂直截了當地說,「我告訴你們,如果你們不悔改,你們都要同樣喪亡」。套一句前校長 Jan Cooper 的話,她問,”耶穌的這一句話 ‘如果你不悔改’,到底哪一點你們聽不懂?”