February 28, 2016

The Gospel Today

Third Sunday of Lent

Luke 13:1-9

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. Edgar R. Calma)

02.28

 

Everything that we do and aim for has a purpose or goal. I recall when I was still a small boy I was asked by my relatives, “What do you want to be when you grow old?” I remember my answer back then was to become a doctor. Then later on, as I grew up and was exposed to the different religious activities in our parish, I became more interested in becoming a priest – something that I did not really understand why there was an attraction that was happening within me.

When I entered the corporate world, being exposed to it was no different from having an end-goal or purpose in every project, activity, event or even in life itself.

The Gospel for today invites us to evaluate and re-examine our goals and purpose in life. This kind of self-examination may not be totally aligned with how the world sees and measures human happiness, goals, purpose and success in life.

The self-examination and reflection is a call to repentance. There is enough for more second chances – second chances that will allow us to re-align, re-direct and reform our own lives. “By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” (Lk. 13:5).

The mercy and compassion of God was even underscored in the parable: “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 shall bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down” (Lk. 13:8).

We are in a culture of wanting for “more.” In a concert where the crowd enjoys the performance of the lead singers, the audience will ask for more. A telenovela with a high rating will be extended for more months to grant the request of viewers for more.

In this extraordinary Jubilee year of Mercy, may we be disposed to give more, extend more our mercy, compassion, love, patience and understanding to our loved ones, friends and community. This is realized when we do simple acts of kindness and generosity to others with sincerity and love.

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