Third Sunday of Lent
Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15, Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 6-7,8, 11, 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12, &
'The vine dresser and the fig tree' by James Tissot
Friends, the first part of today's Gospel narrative is quite sobering. Luke writes about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of sacrifices. Jesus says, "Do you think that the Galileans who suffered were greater than other Galileans?"
Jesus then tells them a parable about a man who planted a fig tree in his garden. When the man came to pick figs from the tree, he saw that the tree had not born any fruit. The man went to his gardener and said that the fig tree bore fruit for the past three years but bore none this season. The man wanted the gardener to cut the tree down. The gardener protested and asked his master to leave the tree for one more year. He would fertilize it and cultivate the ground around it. The gardener then would cut down the fig tree if it failed to produce fruit.
Luke's Gospel gives us a wonderful image of God. God is the gardener who is hopeful and patient. God will not toss us aside immediately if we are not bearing fruit. Our gardener, God, will fertilize us, nurture us, and pull the weeds growing within and around us. However, we have to allow God to be our gardener. The question remains—Will we bring our "weeds" to God and ask Him to help us remove them from our hearts?
If we ask God to be our gardener, He will gift and grace us as we work together with Him to uproot the weeds from our lives. Hopefully, over time, the weeds will gradually disappear from our lives. We have to trust our Divine Gardener's timing. As human beings, we typically want instant answers and easy solutions. However, some of our weeds may be more deeply rooted, and it will take time to remove them altogether. Remember, Jesus is the patient gardener—we, too, need to be patient.
Question of the Day: What are the "weeds" you want to uproot from your life?
Prayer: "Lord, you are truly the Savior of the world; give me living water that I may never thirst again." Amen.