March 3, Third Sunday of Lent
The Lord is kind and merciful. — Psalm 103:8
Mass Readings: Exodus 3:1-8a,13-15/1 Corinthians 10:1-6,10-12/Luke 13:1-9
The parable of the barren fig tree in today’s Gospel was directed to the hypocritical Jewish leaders. Outwardly, like the fig tree, they appeared to be healthy. They tithed, fasted, and did all the “right things” according to the law. But since they did them without love, they were unable to produce fruit.
At first glance, the message of this Gospel might seem harsh, if not condemning: “Repent or you will perish.” But if we read on, we see the crowning glory of God’s character: His patience. The landowner is willing to give the gardener one more chance to cultivate the soil — just like God, who, throughout salvation history, had extended His patience and mercy to Israel. Today, may God grant us that same patience as we endeavor to bear fruit for His kingdom.
Prayer: All praise and glory is Yours, Father, for the mercies You have shown Your people.
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