My Dear Parishioners
On this Third Sunday of Lent, our readings present us with a variety of themes. We have the theme of the presence of God and how he revealed himself to Moses. We have the theme of water, spiritual drink from which the Hebrews drank, but from which we drink through Baptism. We have the theme of sudden death, when Pilate executed the Galileans and when the tower at Siloam fell, killing a number of people. But, we also have what we might think of as a truly Lenten theme, the parable of the second chance, the theme on which we will focus today.
Today’s Gospel gives us the opportunity to repent of our sins, change our lives, and start anew. Let us look at the people involved with today’s parable. First we have the people
listening to the parable that Jesus is giving them. Then we have the landowner, and finally, we have the gardener.
What might be the reaction of the original hearers of this parable? In the days of Jesus and where he lived, water was a precious commodity. Good agricultural ground was also a precious commodity. If any plant was not producing, get rid of it would most commonly be the suggestion. So the hearers might have exclaimed, Let it go another year? Take up good ground? What is this about?
The owner might also be shocked at the gardener’s suggestion. He might have thought, Wait I have this limited amount of ground and you want to keep things there that aren’t producing fruit? Are, you serious? Yet the gardener, God, simply says, Yes, let’s give it one more chance.
Is this not one of the key themes in the season of Lent? Let’s give it another chance? Happily, God has patience with us. Yet, at any given moment, maybe in a year from now, as proposed by the gardener in the parable, time will run out. We need to be watchful and always alert. Each of us wants to make things right. Each of us acknowledges our sins and weaknesses and wants to repent. With a desire in our hearts to make things right with God, we can have faith that God will give us
another chance.
May we seek the help of God, who gives us not only two, but three, four and even five hundred chances, as we continue on our journey to everlasting life. May this parable give us encouragement as we near the midpoint of Lent. It is not too late to get going! Let us move forward in relying on God for help, trusting in his forgiveness and mercy, offering us another chance.
God Bless, Msgr. Maresca