Taking our Hearts to the Lord – A Reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent

3rd Sunday of Lent

Jesus in the first part of today’s gospel, responds to the stories of the atrocities committed by Pilate’s cruelty and those eighteen who were killed by the  collapsing tower of Siloam, by first focussing on the victims of these atrocities. Jesus challenges the assumptions of his listeners who would have supposed that the victims were punished because of their sins and stresses the need for the hearers to look at the events as calls to repent.   Today “Pilate figures” and property developers appear in our newspapers as we read of decapitations and shoddily built apartment blocks.  What assumptions are we challenged to look at?

This is followed by the parable of the barren fig tree.  The vinedresser in the parable pleads with the man on behalf of the fig tree to spare it for one more year. He offers to do two actions, “dig around it and manure it”. Digging is hard work and allows for the loosening and the aeration of the soil, while the manure offers nutrition to enable growth to take place. Can we allow the refreshing spirit and the mulch of our lives to nourish God’s word this Lent?

Sr. Moya Hegarty OSU – Diocese of Elphin

3rd Sunday of Lent 2