Feb 27, 2016

Third Sunday of Lent

Lk 13:1-9

Into this Third Week of Lent, by presenting us this Gospel, the Church reminds, lest we find ourselves drifting back into our routines, that we cannot take for granted our own personal need to get closer to God. The graphic nature of the Gospel might serve to waken us up a little, provoke us a bit, to sit up and take notice that God cannot be ignored and nor can the events around us be taken for granted.

Jesus shows us in the Gospel today that when we see disaster, misfortune or unnecessary trials placed before us, it is so easy for us to assign blame, provide excuses or in some way to figure it all out. We can sometimes find ourselves asking why good people sometimes are the ones to suffer most and because, from our own perspective of justice, this might cause of concern, even anger at God.

In the portion of Scripture we have heard, Jesus is quick to assure us that God is not the author of human misery and suffering. And even though events unfold around us and often we wonder why, God is indeed ultimately and always on our side. And regardless of the evil that exists in the world, we are asked to place our faith in God, even though we do not understand his ways.

Yet at the same time, consider the patience of God with us. Even though we can easily stray from his commandments, providing in our lives and even in our world a hostile environment of sin and error, this does not prevent our Heavenly Father from sending us his Son (when God has more reasons not to come to our rescue than he has to do so.) This not only shows God as patient and slow to anger, but also a God of mercy and gentleness, even in the mists of catastrophes and suffering. It is this God that Jesus teaches us to call Father. The patience of God always wins whereas our impatience can often lead us to do what we might often regret.

The Good News of our salvation is that our heavenly Father guides history and is always faithful to his promises. Yet, our frustration at times is that we cannot see the world, its direction from, not just a big picture, but from the perspective of God. But that is not our place. Nor should we ever want it. Like Moses before the burning bush, finding himself in God’s mysterious presence, found himself quickly out of his depth. This is not the reason to fear. Before God we must likewise be humble, believing that our mysterious God is, at the same time, trustworthy. And we are grateful too that he is patient. Let us pray that, through this Holy Mass, the God we encounter though sacramental signs, one day, if we are patient and have the humility to allow Him to unravel His plan in His own time - one day, we will see face to face. And on that day, all will be revealed, though Jesus Christ our Lord. And may our response simply be, "Amen"

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