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Third Sunday of Lent, Year C

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Lectionary: 30
Read Sunday’s Gospel: Luke 13:1-9

Gospel Summary

In ancient times, people thought death was the result of sinfulness. The crowds asked Jesus if that was true. He replied that it was no more true than the contrary: People lived because of righteousness. The point Jesus did make, however, was that repentance was necessary and necessarily immediate. Jesus then gave the people an illustration of a fig tree that had not produced fruit for three years. The vineyard owner wanted the tree cut down, but the gardener promised to aerate and fertilize it for one more year. If, by then, it did not bear fruit, the gardener would cut it down. Some scholars think the three years of no yield correlate with Jesus’ three years in ministry, but the main point is that with nurturing, all may come to bear fruit in the Kingdom.

Reflection for Families

Some children worry whether or not their parents will live as long as the child needs them—basically forever! But often, parents worry more that they will someday be a burden to their children. Once in a while, parents know they only have a short period of time left with their children and they quickly take stock of what is truly important and act accordingly. Even without this notice, it would be good to evaluate each day and be grateful for each moment we have with each other.

Bringing the Gospel into Your Family

Make a Lenten “fruit bowl” as a family by writing down on strips of paper simple tasks that can be done during this season of Lent that “bear fruit” for God’s Kingdom. Ideas might include praying for someone who is sick, or sending a cheerful greeting to someone who is alone. Perhaps you could visit an elderly relative or do something kind for a family member. Each day, everyone in the family takes a “piece of fruit” from the bowl and tries to accomplish the task written on the strip. (Hint: If you want to make sure the suggestions are age-appropriate, you can use different colors of paper for the children and adults.)

Discussion Starters

  1. One way I hear God’s word and let my life bear fruit for another person is by . . .
  2. The one person in my life who is like the gardener that cares for the tree so it bears fruit is . . . They help me by . . .
  3. In this story, I am most like the a) owner, b) the gardener, c) the fig tree, because . . .

 

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Posted in: Gospel Reflections C