Third Sunday of Lent

Sunday, March 20th


Ex 3: 1-8, 13-15
Ps 103: 1-8, 11
1 Cor 10: 1-6, 10-12
Lk 13: 1-9


“I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future.” Lk 13: 8-9

In this parable, there are two very different perspectives regarding the fig tree that was bearing no fruit. On one hand, there is the orchard owner who has become frustrated with the unproductive tree…taking up space, wasting resources, and yielding no benefit or profit. Patience has run out after three years, and the tree should now be written off as a loss without further thought.

In contrast, the gardener recognizes an opportunity and potential for growth. There might be a reason that the tree has not flourished, and everything has not yet been tried to remediate the situation. Given more nourishment and support, there is a chance that the tree might come around and bear fruit.

How often have we looked at a situation – or even a person – as hopeless, without asking the question “Why is this so?” or taking the time to consider what is behind what we see or feel? Are systemic racism, gun violence, family discord, political division, poverty, or environmental destruction lost causes to be written off… or are we willing to give them the attention, energy, and consideration they deserve?


Loving God, give me the eyes and heart to see value, possibility,
and hope in people and situations that I might otherwise consider
not worth it. Grant me the strength and grace to act more justly
and to give the benefit of the doubt to people, situations, and
issues that I don’t fully understand.

Personal Challenge

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

Jim Boyd, CSJ Associate
Chicago, IL

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