After journeying with Jesus through the desert, after having witnessed his transfiguration on the mountaintop, we now enter into the nitty-gritty of Jesus’ teaching.
The readings this Sunday could seem a little tame; there is nothing spectacular. True, the burning bush causes Moses to turn aside from his path, curious about what this bush burning without consuming itself could mean. This openness reveals God to him, and sends him on his mission to lead Israel into the Promises Land.
By the roadside, Jesus sees an apparently dead fig tree and he draws the attention of his followers to this. As with any good teacher, the fig tree brings to mind a story. The teaching of the parable may seem quite severe; however, if the disciples are open to its message, they may discover valuable truths.
In the parable, the master is ready to destroy the tree right away. However, I believe the gardener knows something that the master may have forgotten: a fig tree begins bearing fruit in the 3rdto 6thyear of growth. So the gardener speaks out without embarrassing the master who may have lost sight of this fact. He simply pleads for another year of his nurturing care. More tilling of the soil and additional fertilizer should do the trick. The fig tree, apparently nonproductive, is just not quite ready for the wonder of producing its fruit. The gardener said, “Let it alone for one more year”.
On our Lenten journey, we may be still in a desert space, not quite open to the gift of God’s wonder in our lives. However, having witnessed the transfiguration, we are a little stronger, and more open to receive Jesus’ teachings. Today’s readings invite us to continue to use our Lenten tools. Remembering God’s love and faithfulness, we become ever more God-filled, ever more open to his work in us. As we continue to scrutinize the Word of God, and ask God for his grace to open us to his ever-loving embrace, we can truly be converted. It may take some time, but with patience and faithfulness, conversion is ours. God’s love is carrying us!
Do I remember the “God-moments” I have experienced? How have I responded to God’s infinite love for me? Have I asked for the fire of God’s love to nourish me on my journey?
March 25 — the Annunciation of the Lord
This feast honors Mary receiving her mission as Mother of the Messiah. In this initial act of the Incarnation, God takes on human flesh in her womb when she responds in total trusting faith with her “Yes”. Her faith and trust are beacons along our path of life.
Mary, help us to become more trusting, open, faithful and full of love for our God,
who lives in each one of us. In Jesus, name we ask this. Amen.
Submitted by Sister Janice Fournier, pm