Our first reading for the third Sunday of Lent presents the call from God to Moses to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt to the
Promised Land. St. Paul, in our selection from his first letter to the Corinthians, notes that the ancients were “baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” They all “ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink.” Yet they turned away from God and were struck down.
Paul then explicitly says this happened as an example for us, who have been baptized and receive the Body and Blood of Christ. Our reading ends with this clear admonition: “whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall.”
The point is that the sacraments do not make us “secure,” if we are not allowing the graces received to help us grow in our love of God and neighbor. We need to be using the sacraments and the support of the community to help us continue the process of transforming our attitudes and actions to mirror the attitudes and actions of Jesus.
In our Gospel, Jesus uses the parable of the land owner, who gives the fig tree one more year to produce fruit before it will be cut down, to remind us that God is giving us time to repent and grow in love, but we don’t have forever. We are a good way into Lent already. I invite us to reflect on how we are using this special time “in the
desert,” as well as the Lenten resources and services offered by our faith community, to help us grow in our ability to reflect Christ’s love to the world. And let us support each other in prayer.
Church sign of the week: Let all you do be done in love.