Lectio Divina: 3rd Sunday of Lent
“The Lord is kind and merciful.” — Psalms 103:8
In the First Reading, God introduces Himself as the God of his fathers: “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob” (Ex 3:6). God is communicating a deep reality to Moses by introducing Himself this way: our faith is not one of isolation, it is one of relationship. No man is an island, and all that we do — whether good or bad, virtuous or sinful — will impact those around us. If we fall into sin, it not only impacts our relationship with God but also with our brothers and sisters.
This is one reason why Jesus, right from the beginning of today’s Gospel, hits us with the call to repent of our sins. He follows this by stating that if we do not, we will perish. But we are not called to a “one and done” kind of conversion — we are called to a daily conversion, one that is ongoing and transformative. Christ is not calling us to repent in order to strike fear into our hearts to make us flee from faith. He is doing it so we will recognize our brokenness, our wounds, and allow Him to restore us.
This is why we, as the Psalmist did, call the Lord “kind and merciful.” He cares for us, enough to call us out when we’re not on the right path. Just as the fig tree is given a “last chance” to produce fruit, we too are being given an opportunity to show God our love in both word and deed — to put our words into action. As we journey deeper into the season of Lent, let us truly repent of where we have failed and also praise God for His infinite love and mercy for us. In doing this, we can honor the God of our fathers, restore what has been broken, and live with Him (and our brothers and sisters) for all of eternity.
- What is your heart’s first reaction when you’re told to repent?
- Is there something you need to repent of and ask forgiveness for?
- Is there any way for you to restore relationships torn apart by sin?
- How can you trust more in the Father’s kindness and mercy?
- How can you strive to bear more fruit in your life as a disciple?