Ex. 3:1-8a, 13-15; 1 Cor. 10:1-6, 10-12; Lk.13: 1-9
Our readings today reflect God’s tender care of His people. He allows trials to awaken the people to the consequences of turning from Him but assures them of His hearing their cry as they seek Him. He reveals He is the center and creator of everything as His name, I AM who am. St. Paul tells of God fulfilling His promise of care comparing the Jews baptism in the water of the Red Sea to liberate them to the much greater next step. The baptism into Jesus is the fulfillment of redemption. But, like the Jewish people experienced, we must not turn away from Him to evil or He will call us back to Himself through chastisements. God gave the Egyptian Pharaoh many chances to repent through the wake up calls of plagues. But Pharaoh hardened his heart and demanded he be served rather than God. He eventually harvested the fruit of punishment.
God does not give up on us when we fail Him. He always gives us another chance to repent. He is patient and persistent in pursuing us. Like the fig tree that didn’t produce fruit, we often fail to live the gospel commands and then fail to produce fruit. The Lord sends “gardeners” who teach and enrich us with spiritual nourishment in hopes that we will repent. Lent is great time to evaluate what is really important and Who we serve. We will eventually harvest the good fruit produced in our lives or the deserved punishment of serving self rather than God. Let’s soften, not harden our hearts.
Mrs. Marilyn Pipkin, OP