March 11, 2007 3rd Sunday of Lent Year C

Scripture: Exodus 3:1-15
Psalm 103
Luke 13:1-9

Do you want to put a special flavour into your everyday life?

If so, give some time to God and pray. But what is this God like?

The 1st reading gives us a glimpse of what God is like. As He did with Moses, He wants to contact us. He calls us personally by name (see also Isaiah 43:1). He hears our cries for help as He heard the cries of the slaves in Egypt. Indeed, "the Lord is compassion and love slow to anger and rich in mercy" (Ps103). He invites us to a warm, loving relationship. But balanced with respect (that is, figuratively, take our shoes off as did Moses). Having a healthy Biblical image of God puts real flavour into our prayer and daily life. Jesus is the self-portrait of a loving God. We see Jesus and so meet God.

In the Gospel Jesus is very much opposed to a punishing God. God just does not work that way. But an insidious superstition often influences us to think that way . The Galileans and those who fell under the tower did not die because they were wicked. God loves sinners and invites them to start again.

After 3 years and no figs, the owner says "cut it down". "No" says the gardener, "give it another year and I will care specially for it". The message of the parable is: "Make that new start NOW, do not put it off, we only have a limited time."

We have a limited time to be serious about prayer - start NOW.

We have a limited time to forgive someone - do it NOW.

We have a limited time to be good parents (or children) - start NOW.

We have a limited time to be kind and thoughtful - start TODAY.

But remember we need God's strength to put this into practice. Pray for it. Do-it-yourself fresh starts do not work!

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