March 3, 2013

The Gospel Today

Lk 13: 1-9

3rd Sunday of Lent

Some people told Jesus about the Galileans
whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices.
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way
they were greater sinners than all other Galileans?
By no means!
But I tell you, if you do not repent,
you will all perish as they did!
Or those eighteen people who were killed
when the tower at Siloam fell on them—
do you think they were more guilty
than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem?
By no means!
But I tell you, if you do not repent,
you will all perish as they did!”

And he told them this parable:
“There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard,
and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none,
he said to the gardener,
‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree
but have found none.
So cut it down.
Why should it exhaust the soil?’
He said to him in reply,
‘Sir, leave it for this year also,
and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it;
it may bear fruit in the future.
If not you can cut it down.’”

Reflection (Sem. Randy D. Buquis)

The Gospel today invites us in this season of Lent to have a deeper repentance. A repentance that will lead and help us to be closer to God.

I remember that I heard repentance during the apostolate in Greenbelt where we helped in the imposition of ashes.  Since it was my first time to do it, I was not confident saying the formula during the imposition of the ashes on the forehead which was “Repent and believe in the Holy Gospel”. As I reflect on it, I say the word “repent” to other people repeatedly, in order for me to hear it and ponder it in my heart. I need a greater change for the greater glory of God.

Here in the seminary, in order to achieve the transformation, what we need first, is deformation of ourselves. This deformation requires a big change as we senior seminarians already experienced life outside. After almost two years in formation I can say that I am able to achieve changes in my life. The most important changes aside from the physical such as gaining weight are the perceptions in my life in accepting the trials, problems and different challenges as a grace, rather than as a heavy rock at my back.

Today’s Gospel is also inviting us to be consistent in our doing or even in what we want to achieve. If we really know the content of repentance the challenge for us is to continue what we started in the season of Lent not just doing it occasionally. To change is a continuous process and this season of Lent maybe the best time to start and it should not end as the season ends.

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