Dear Brothers & Sisters,
The readings and Gospel for the Third Sunday of Lent are apt for what is happening to our nation, region and even Catholic Church. After all that we have gone through as a nation, region, world and faith-community, where are the fruits? The temptation is to give up. The message is that our God is one who always wants to deliver us from what holds us captive. That same God wants us to use the very negatives as lessons to desist from wrong doing.
In the Gospel, the planter wants to cut down the vine because it just was not producing fruit. The servant pleads with him. “Leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it, perhaps it will bear grapes ...” We are to see ourselves as the servants. In the midst of all the bad news, we are to keep praying for yet another year and time to do something tangible for our family, nation, region and by extension world.
Yes, our nation needs our prayerful, active service in our present volatile, immoral society. Our very church founded by Jesus is producing leaders who are being tried for indecent criminal behavior. We are to resort to prayer, asking Jesus to give our nation one more and give us time to get involved and touch the lives of the unproductive, so that they perhaps will bear fruit, fruit that will last. Why? It’s still a beautiful region, world and church.
Will you do it?
Fr. Clement Paul.