To help me to find the main idea in the readings, I read the Gospels of the third Sunday of Cycle A and B. A: the Samaritan woman; B: the purification of the Temple. Both Gospels are from John.
I think that one of the themes in the gospels of the three cycles is CONVERSION, seen as FIDELITY to our call.
FIRST READING Ex 3:1-8a, 13-15
Ø Today’ reading speaks of the call YHWH makes to Moses.
Ø Moses comes with the flock of his father in law to the Horeb, Sinai, the mountain of God.
Ø God reveals himself to Moses
o as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that is, the God of the fathers.
o God is the God of history who takes care of the oppressed, the needy, the one who suffers. This means that he is a God close to human beings who can say “I have seen the oppression of my people in Egypt, I have heard their complaints against their oppressors and I have come to deliver them.”
o God besides being so close (immanent) is also a transcendent God:
§ The burning bush which is not consumed
§ The order given to Moses to take off his shoes because he is on holy ground. God is present there.
§ His mysterious name
o The name
§ For the peoples of the Bible the name is the same as the person, it has to be respected like the person is respected.
§ Also to know the name of a person is in certain measure to have dominion over him or her, to be able to manipulate him or her.
§ God cannot be manipulated, because he is the totally OTHER. He says to Moses his name which seems enigmatic, or even a way not to say his true name
§ But in reality this is his
true name, his true identity I AM WHO AM, it means I am the one who does not
depend on others to exist, I exist by myself.
Ø And after explaining to Moses why he has come, he tells him to go to deliver his brothers and sisters.
Ø You will tell them I AM (YHWH) sends me to you to deliver you from Egypt and to lead you into a fertile land.
Ø What a beautiful text which narrates the conversation between God who calls and the one called that looks for excuses because he is afraid but finally he find his strength in God to be faithful “I am with you.”
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 103
THE LORD IS GOOD AND MERCIFUL
ü This psalm is a hymn to the mercy of God.
Bless the Lord, my soul
May my whole being bless his holy Name
Bless the Lord, my soul,
And never forget his benefits.
He pardons all your faults
And heals all your illnesses
He rescues your life from the grave
He crowns you with love and tenderness
The Lord does works of justice
And gives the right to the oppressed
He showed his ways to Moses
And his mighty deeds to the people of Israel
The Lord is compassionate and merciful
As much as the sky is high above the earth
So is his infinite love toward those who fear him.
SECOND READING 1 Cor 10:1-6. 10-12
Paul reminds the community of Corinth how those who left Egypt and journeyed through the desert had the same experiences: the sea, the cloud, the manna, the Law.
But their fate was different due to the different way each one accepted the gratuitous gifts that God gave them.
And Paul continues to say that this happened to teach us. Teach what? Fidelity to the call we received at baptism.
And it is also a call not only to be faithful but humble and trusting in the Lord. “Therefore whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall.
GOSPEL Lk 13:1-9
ü Some people came to Jesus and told him about the Galileans that Pilate had them killed. We do not know with what intention they communicated that to Jesus.
ü But Jesus takes the opportunity to remind all his listeners that this happened to them not because they were worst sinners than the rest of us, but that we all need to “convert to the Lord” and do good works, be faithful to our call, on the contrary we will perish. We will not perish because Pilate or somebody else kills us, but because with our sins we will kill us.
ü And the Lord continues to tell them a parable to illustrate what he had told them:
o A man had a fig tree planted in his orchard.
o When he came to pick up fruit there was none.
o He called the gardener and told him to cut it down because for three years he had come to search for fruit and had found none. Why should it exhaust the soil for nothing?
o The gardener said to him, leave it for one year I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize.
o If it continues not to give fruit you can cut it down.
ü This parable seems like the history of salvation accomplished by Jesus.
o He is the one who takes care of the fig tree, wait a little Father, let me go and live among them, and let me tell them how much you love them and how he wishes them to live, and you will see how they change.
o I will hand myself over in their hands, loving them unconditionally as you love them, so they can see your love in me, learn and even if they kill me I will continue to love them.
CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiography.
PAGOLA, José A. Following in the Footsteps of Jesus – Gospels Year C
PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiography
RAVASI, Gianfranco. Según las Escrituras – Ciclo C. San Pablo 2006.
SCHÖKEL , Luis Alonso, La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.
SAGRADA BIBLIA, Versión Oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española
One time I was very afflicted praying for a certain person that I knew had committed three or four mortal sins, and my soul was pierced because this was a religious, consecrated to God. One of those days, in which I was most afflicted, our Lord told me with great sadness. This is the way the sons of my church repay my benefits. Let me, my daughter, rest in your heart. I have no place to rest. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 70.
To give still greater edification, I have refrained from smoking or taking snuff. Furthermore, I have never said or even hinted that I prefer any one thing to another. This, of course, is an old habit with me. The Lord had already given me this heavenly blessing while my dear mother (R.I.P.) was still alive. She died without ever knowing what I liked best. Because she loved me so much and wanted to please me, she would sometimes ask me whether I liked this or that. I would answer that whatever she chose for me was what I liked best. Then she would say, "I know, but there is always something we like better than something else." I would still tell her that what she gave me was what I liked best. Naturally I, like everyone else, prefer some things to others; but the spiritual joy I feel in doing the will of others is far greater than that of any particular physical preference, so that I was telling my mother the truth. Saitn Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 410.