We are in a time of penitence, sacrifice, thinking of the passion of Jesus, His suffering.
We are in a special time in which a true conversion to God is being asked of us.
Through the liturgical readings of this Sunday, the Lord calls us to fix our gaze on ourselves, within our heart, and on the signs of the times in which we are living. The liturgical readings speak of God who takes the initiave, through Moses who is caring for his people (cfr. Es 3, 1-8°, 13-15). They show us a merciful God who consoles His people, forgives sins, heals the sick, saves life from distruction and gives justice to the oppressed (cfr.Sal. 103; 1-4, 6-8, 11). The readings show also that God allows the death of those who knowingly do not listen, have not observed His orders and counsels (cfr. 1 Cor 10:1-6, 10-12). Can we associate all this with the same God? But is God really like this? What does all of this mean for me personally?
In seeking responses the Gospel passage that we are considering today can help us. Jesus says:
“Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them*—do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” (Luke 13:2-4
First: God is true love and kindness, but is also true justice. In Him there are not shadows of evil, but only the light of good. He is always the same and cannot be changed. Still, if knowingly and with decision, without thinking, during our life we choose evil – we are not doing God’s part. If one decides consciously during life to live in sin – we must be aware of its consequences. The route that we have chosen leads us to the part of death or of life, giving good or bad fruits; it brings us to darkness or to light… And God in His love does everything to distance us from the evil road, but does not force us to accept it as His Companion, Friend, Brother… only because God is pure love and does not want to force us to do any thing whatsoever!
Second: even if we call ourselves Christians, we go to church regularly every Sunday to pray, we fast, we help other human beings, we do not kill, we do not rob, etc., we cannot consider ourselves better, more just, holier than those who do not do that, or do so less than we do! The Lord calls us to a true conversion of heart! If something bad happened to someone, we cannot think of it as punishment of God, because God does not punish. Who am I to judge the neighbor?! If I do not know how to help or do not want to help, I have no right to speak badly, condemn or humiliate! However, what happens if my lifestyle brings me to some tragic experience? What happens if, for example, knowingly I want to get into a car with a person in a state of drunkenness?… God alone knows why somethng happened. He knows how to transform every evil into good: for us and for our dear ones.
The Lord is calling us to a deep conversion of heart! He gives us a variety of signs to reflect on the proper way to live, to think, to speak, to act. Therefore, Jesus directs our eyes to ourselves, to the inside of our hearts. He wants us to reflect on our actions, lifestyles, relationships with others and with God.
What does God want to tell me through His holy words?
What events or acts pass through my mind during the reading of these lines? Why?
On what do I still need to work in my person?
What message does God want to give me on this third Sunday of Lent?
Davor Lukačević, CPPS