Third Sunday of Lent 20 03 22
Gospel: Luke 13. 1 – 9
There are always some sort of accident that keeps happening at some place or other. We are recovering from a pandemic that killed millions of people all over the world. There are tragedies caused by human beings such as war and many get killed and others lose loved ones and some their businesses and buildings. We are so gripped with the situation in Ukraine.
The people who are affected are definitely the victims – did they get affected or got killed because they were very bad people or that they deserved to die.
Then there is the question, Can we say that the ones who are not affected by such catastrophes and tragedies are the blessed ones and that the ones who got killed are the cursed ones.
There were some people who came to Jesus posed such questions to Jesus and Jesus then seem to emphatically say ‘No’. That is not the case.
However Jesus our Lord says that if we do not repent of our sins and change then all will have to face such disaster as disaster would come suddenly. He uses this situation to address the question about sin and the judgement of God.
We know that God is loving, generous, forgiving and kind, yet the bible reminds us that each one of us are accountable to God for our lives. This only reminds us of the preciousness of our life and lives of others.
Jesus then tells his listeners a story, a parable. There was a man who had planted a fig tree in his vineyard which was common practice and the tree grew and each year the owner of the vineyard would come and look for any fruits. Yet after three year the tree disappointed him therefore he orders the gardener to take the tree down since nothing good comes out of it. The gardener pleads for the tree and asks for some more time for him to give more care and attention and after such care if the tree does not bear fruit then it can be brought down. The gardener still has hope that the tree will bear good fruit.
It is Jesus who is interceding and pleading on behalf of people. Asking for time for people to repent and change.
When people are wicked and yet go unpunished is not an endorsement of their wickedness but it is the patience of God extending the time of reckoning.
Lent is a beautiful time of new life just as we find new life emerging all around. It is like a new world opening up before our eyes. For us this new life is possible by leaving behind sin and growing forward to God by recognition and repentance. Living a fruitful life is about being good by doing good to others.