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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA


Third Sunday of Lent

“Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5

In the Rule of Saint Benedict, the monks are told that their lives should be a “continuous Lent.” At first, this may sound like a negative, difficult thing, or entirely depressing. Rather, it is simply a call to be open and continue growing. In fact, one of the vows that Benedictines profess is Conversatio Morum, that is, “conversion of life.” In a nutshell, that is what Jesus is saying this week. We are being called to change our lives. Some people came to Jesus with gossip and a gruesome story about Pilate; Jesus challenged them with a couple of pointed questions, and then related the parable of the fig tree. To put it in context, usually figs blossom within two years, and then can be harvested twice a year. When a tree has been barren three years, it might be best just to remove it, but this is not the approach that Jesus suggested. Rather, the gardener in the parable chose to nurture the tree, fertilizing it with dung. He was not willing to give up on it.

There are times when we may feel our lives are covered in dung, and we lie dormant through a plethora of difficult and painful moments. But Jesus is calling us to use this time, to draw strength from it, to use the dung in our lives as fertilizer, to begin a slow and steady transformation to a new and better place, until we too can bear fruit. Growth is always a process, and we have to start somewhere. While there is always a call to repentance and conversion, we are blessed with a God who is loving enough and patient enough to wait for us to come to our senses, however long that may take. This Lent we are being called to life. We are called to repent. We are called to be nurtured and fertilized and take the time and effort to grow.

Readings for the Week

Monday: 2 Kgs 5:1-15ab; Ps 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4; Lk 4:24-30
Tuesday: Dn 3:25, 34-43; Ps 25:4-5ab, 6, 7bc, 8-9; Mt 18:21-35
Wednesday: Dt 4:1, 5-9; Ps 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20; Mt 5:17-19
Thursday: Jer 7:23-28; Ps 95:1-2, 6-9; Lk 11:14-23
Friday: Is 7:10-14, 8:10; Ps 40:7-11; Heb 10:4-10; Lk 1:26-38
Saturday: Hos 6:1-6; Ps 51:3-4, 18-21ab; Lk 18:9-14
Sunday: Jos 5:9a, 10-12; Ps 34:2-7; 2 Cor 5:17-21; Lk 15:1-3, 11-32
Alternate readings (Year A): 1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a; Ps 23:1-6; Eph 5:8-14; Jn 9:1-41 [1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38]

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Third Sunday of Lent; Spring begins
Wednesday: St. Turibius of Mogrovejo
Friday: Annunciation of the Lord; Abstinence

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