Saturday, March 02, 2013
3RD SUNDAY OF LENT – C
MARCH 3, 2013
3RD SUNDAY OF LENT – C
Ex 3:1-8,13-15 / Ps 95: 1-2. 6-7. 8-9 / 1 Cor 10:1-6,10-12 / Lk 13:1-9
Moses pastured the sheep of Jethro, his father-in-law, priest of Midian. One day he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the Mountain of God. The Angel of Yahweh appeared to him by means of a flame of fire in the middle of a bush. Moses saw that although the bush was on fire it did not burn up. Moses thought, "I will go and see this amazing sight, why is the bush not burning up?" Yahweh saw that Moses was drawing near to look, and God called to him from the middle of the bush, "Moses! Moses!" He replied, "Here I am." Yahweh said to him, "Do not come near; take off your sandals because the place where you are standing is holy ground." And God continued, "I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." Moses hid his face lest his eyes look on God. Yahweh said, "I have seen the humiliation of my people in Egypt and I hear their cry when they are cruelly treated by their taskmasters. I know their suffering. I have come down to free them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them up from that land to a beautiful spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the territory of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites. Moses answered God, "If I go to the Israelites and say to them: `The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' they will ask me: `What is his name?' What shall I answer them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO AM. This is what you will say to the sons of Israel: `I AM sent me to you." God then said to Moses, "You will say to the Israelites: `YAHWEH, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me.' That will be my name forever, and by this name they shall call upon me for all generations to come.
1 CORINTHIANS 10:1-6,10-12
Let me remind you, brothers and sisters, about our ancestors. All of them were under the cloud and all crossed the sea. All underwent the baptism of the land and of the sea to join Moses and all of them ate from the same spiritual manna and all of them drank from the same spiritual drink. For you know that they drank from a spiritual rock following them, and the rock was Christ. However, most of them did not please God, and the desert was strewn with their bodies. All of this happened as an example for us, so that we might not become people of evil desires, as they did. nor grumble as some of them did and were cut down by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as an example, and they were written as a warning for us, as the last times come upon us. Therefore, if you think you stand, beware, lest you fall.
One day some people told Jesus what had occurred in the Temple: Pilate had had Galileans killed, and their blood mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. Jesus asked them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered this? No, I tell you. But unless you change your ways, you will all perish as they did. And those eighteen persons in Siloah, who were crushed when the tower fell, do you think they were more guilty than all the others in Jerusalem? I tell you: no. But unless you change your ways, you will all perish as they did." And Jesus continued with this story, "A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it, but found none. Then he said to the gardener, `Look here, for three years now I have been looking for figs on this tree, and I have found none. Cut it down, why should it use up the ground?' The gardener replied, `Leave it one more year, so that I may dig around it and add some fertilizer; perhaps it will bear fruit from now on. But if it doesn't, you can cut it down.'"
The readings for today's Eucharistic celebration present us with two images. From the book of Exodus, we see Moses confronting the burning bush from within which God reveals the divine name and gives Moses his mission together with the assurance of God's care for him. In the gospel reading, we see Jesus confronting an unproductive fig tree but with an assurance of patience and hope for a productive future if the tree will respond to the care which will be given for it.
Together with Moses approaching the burning bush, we are asked to show reverence because we are in the presence of the Almighty One. But this Almighty One identifies Himself as the God of Moses' father, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob. In other words, He is the God Who can call His people "My people." Not indeed a distant God, no matter how humbly Moses should show reverence. This God has been close to the people and has been attentive to their affliction. He has heard their cries. From the fire of the burning bush, the fire of God's care for His people reveals God's compassion for the suffering of all. And it is to Moses that this compassionate God gives the mission of being the instrument to work for the liberation of His people.
We know that the history of the liberation of God's people was a history of great struggle. The people themselves even rebelled against Moses and even against God Himself. They showed themselves to be stiff-necked. At times, we are told, God even threatened to destroy them. Yet all the while God would never abandon them. Urged by Moses, God would show Himself to be the God of patience and compassion. And it is that history of God's patience and compassion that can help us understand today's account of the parable of the fig tree.
For years, this fig tree was supposed to bear fruit. But like the people of Israel, the tree refused to produce the fruit expected of it. There was the threat of the owner of the vineyard (a symbol of God) to destroy the tree, to cut it down. But just as Moses pleaded with God not to abandon the people, the vinedresser pleaded that the tree be spared so that more care could be given it. Patience and compassion again! And here the patient and compassionate one is the new Moses, Jesus whose mission given by the Father is the mission to give life to all of us.
This season of Lent is given to us every year so that we can renew and strengthen ourselves, with the help of God's patience and compassion, so that we can bear the fruit that the Lord desires for us. Thank God for his patience and compassion! Thank God for his caring love for us!
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for the speedy recovery and healing of Chief Samrose Anyaugo
… for the personal intentions of
- Dr Ugo Anyaugo, Oge Anyaugo, Barr (Mrs) adaugo Barbara Okoronkwo, Engr. Ifeanyi Matt Anyaugo, Chuba Anyaugo and Ezinne Cordelia Anyaugo
… In Thanksgiving: Nelson Billanes (Mar 4)
… for the eternal repose of the soul of Eliseo Fabella, Sr. Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Lelet B. Barizo
- Birthday: Meia Tesla Chikiamco
- Wedding Anniversary: Ian & Jinkee So
- In Memoriam (+): Asing Seto
- In Memoriam (+): Candida Ilagan Barrion
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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