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3rd Sunday of Lent, C (Ex. 3:1–8, 13–15 / Ps. 103:1–4, 6–8, 11 / 1 Cor. 10:1–6, 10–12 / Lk. 13:1–9)

(A Reflection by Frs. Patrick Kwasi Kuma Amedeka & Vincent Kwasi Asare-Bediako)

Theme: Privileged, not excused

Whatever our position or condition, God gives us sufficient graces by which we experience his salvation. These graces do not excuse us from playing our role in God’s bigger plan of saving souls, including ourselves.

Jesus teaches us that without God’s grace each of us is like a barren fig tree. Through Christ we receive God’s grace to make us better persons. This privilege neither gives us the impetus to judge others nor exempt us from actively pursuing a life of conversion and repentance. If we fail, justice will demand that we be cut down or cursed for our fruitlessness (John 15:2; Mk. 11:12-14).

Moses, a sinner, has just committed murder in the name of nationalism and is on the run. Now he is privileged to meet God who reveals himself not to condemn him but to assure him of his unfailing saving presence, draw him into a personal relationship with God, and make known his redeeming plan. But Moses cannot take this privilege for granted. First, he must demonstrate his conversion by showing total respect to God as signified in the removal of his sandals. Second, he must return to Egypt as an agent of redemption not destruction.

Apostle Paul references the Jewish Scriptures to warn the believers in Corinth against presumption and overconfidence. Like the Israelites, they too have been privileged to be led out of the wilderness of sin and death into the pledge of eternal life through the mercy of God’s revelation and the gift of faith. They must carefully safeguard this gift by shunning all forms of idolatry, lest they be drawn back into that past wasteful life.

Beloved, some of us may never have experienced war, famine, poverty, abuse, loss, etc. Some of us may have suffered all these but may have come out stronger. Some of us may be blessed with good jobs, education, a stable family and peace. Yet, there are those who may be struggling with no help in sight. Out of God's love, we enjoy sparks of light in our gloomy days. Ours is not an excuse to judge or stand aloof. Rather, every event or situation, good or not too good, is a privilege given by God and intended to be beneficial to us, to teach us to get closer to our God, to learn his ways, and to amend our lives in line with his will for us. By learning to give up all forms of corruption that keep us wasteful and destructive to our world, and focusing rather on bearing fruits of faith through courage, gratitude, optimism, patience, perseverance, calmness, kindness, and mercy, we participate in God's plan of saving humankind. God gives us Lent as a sacred time and privilege to do the needful, to turn to God and so contribute to effect positive change in our world.

God loves you 💕

God is Good - All the Time!

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