·

March 20, 2022

3rd Sunday of Lent

We’re told in the gospel today that it had been reported to Jesus that Pilate had mingled the blood of Galileans with a pagan sacrifice. There’s no proof that this event took place, but whether it was true or not, Jesus used the moment to teach.

We might add our contemporary example to the two events that were presented, the horrific attack on Ukraine we’re witnessing today. Were the Ukrainians such terrible sinners that God would have unleashed such horrendous barbarity as a punishment upon them? It was common Jewish belief that bad things happened to bad people and good things to good people. Jesus bucked this belief.

Jesus taught that suffering wasn’t God’s punishment for sin. To make his point, Jesus told a parable about a fig tree that wasn’t producing figs to address questions about sin, the sinner, and God’s response.

The property owner wanted to cut down a fig tree, the symbol of a sinner because it wasn’t fruitful. This was the human way of thinking. The gardener, God, committed to doing all he could to save the tree, to make it productive. God’s purpose wasn’t to punish the sinner; God tried to bring new life to the sinner.

Today, I would suggest that you take a renewed look at God. God desires to help you, no matter what you’ve done or how you’ve acted. God’s way is not to condemn or punish. People may do so; institutions may do so, but that’s not God’s way. Throughout his ministry, Jesus never spoke of sinners as being bad. Instead, he said they had lost their way. Examples of these are the woman who lost a coin, the sheep that wandered away from the ninety-nine, the prodigal son who was lost. When they were found, there was great rejoicing.

Prayer:

“God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17)

 

Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
To receive the Daily Eucharistic Reflection in your email, please contact Director, CEE [cee@blessedsacrament.com]

 

 


About John Kamas, SSS

Father Kamas is pastor of Saint Jean Baptiste Church in New York City, New York.