Monday, February 22, 2016

Lent III

Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it, so it may bear fruit in the future.  If not you can cut it down."

The gospel for the Third Sunday of lent in cycle C is often referred to as "The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree."  Luke chapter 13 1-9

Another title to consider would be: “The Parable of the Merciful Gardener. “

In the story the orchard owner makes a pragmatic and justifiable decision to cut down his fig tree that has not born fruit.  The gardener’s offer to cultivate the ground and fertilize is analogous to God’s mercy.  The placement of this reading on the third Sunday of lent, lends to the connection between a fig tree that is spared for another year and you and I who experience another season of Lent.

Our offertory song God of Second Chances (which has been playing in the background) speaks to the idea of a merciful God.
The composers’ notes read as follows:

This is a hymn of both personal and communal self-inventory, calling for reconciliation and renewal.  It could be used during celebrations of the Eucharist, for communal celebrations of reconciliation and healing, or as a Lenten call to repentance. 

It you are attending the 12 noon liturgy you will hear the cycle a readings.  The gospel John Chapter 4 5-42 tells of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well.  Jesus’ offer of living water can be as a second (or, if you are reading literally) a seventh chance.   Either way, the message remains the same:  by accepting Jesus’ mercy and then telling others of her encounter with Him, the unnamed woman goes from shunned outsider to evangelist.

Today’s communion song Change Our Hearts challenges us to similarly consider and respond to God’s mercy.

is not a never falling down
it's an always getting up
and that is the response to God's mercy.
                                        Pope Francis



 Click on the link to learn more about 
 an hour of reflection, music and meditation
for those who are divorced
Wednesday, March 2nd 2016
7 p.m.
St. Mary's Church
17 Monsignor Owens Place
Nutley, NJ 07110

St. Mary's Church 
Liturgical Planning
Lent 2016

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