Third Sunday of Lent

Exodus 3: 1-8a, 13-15

The God of Israel appears to Moses in the burning bush. God claims ownership over the people of Israel and promises to rescue them from the land of slavery. Moses asks God for his personal name, and the reply is “I AM”, “I was who was,” “I am whom am”. The sacred name became YHWH in Hebrew meaning “Lord”. Consider how you honor God’s presence during the day. What does that look like? What do you think it means when Moses tells the Israelites that “I am” sent me to you?

1 Corinthians 10: 1-6, 10-12

In this reading we see Paul’s concern about idolatry. Paul also incorporates ideas connected to divine Wisdom in early Judaism. Paul replaces the focus on “Wisdom” with a focus on “Christ” and warns the community to avoid temptations.

Water is one of the principal symbols of the season of Lent. Give thanks for the baptismal water that was your own entrance into the life of Christ. This Lent consider how you might lead others to baptism. Make a concrete list on the ways you might lead others to this water. Jesus is that “spiritual rock” of which Paul speaks of. It is this rock that will help strengthen you against temptation of idolatry. What are the temptations in your life right now, during this Lent 2022 season? Can you stand on Jesus the “rock” to overcome these temptations in your life?

What is the fertilizer in your life to overcome the temptations? Have you looked seriously at the temptations in your life right now? Are we responsible for our own actions, our own sins, our own falling short? Can we truly “admit” our failures, embrace them, and then stand on the “rock” Jesus to overcome those temptations?

Luke 13: 1-9

Suffering in the ancient world was viewed as a direct consequence of sin and was associated with God’s judgment. Jesus in the Gospel uses examples of suffering to warn those who fail to repent or turn from their wrongdoing. Jesus uses the parable of the fig tree, a parable that serves as both medicine and mirror. As medicine, the parable comforts those who continue to stumble along as they follow Jesus. As a mirror, it compels complacent Christians to take stock of who they are. The parable shows Jesus as compassionate and demanding. As long as the disciples are open to him, Christ will continue to “cultivate” and “fertilize” them. We also are those disciples; are we open to Christ to “cultivate” and “fertilize” us? At this point in your Lenten journey what needs to be “cultivated” and “fertilized” to come to the “refreshing waters” at Easter?