Sunday, March 7, 2010

Third Sunday of Lent

Exodus 3: 1-8a, 13-15, Psalm 103, 1 Corinthians 10: 1-6, 10-12 Luke 13: 1-9

The burning bush, Paul’s flash of light on the road to Damascus and the transfiguration all count as striking spiritual experiences. These are not, however, the only kind of spiritual experiences. Most of our encounters with God are far less dramatic.

God will provide us with the experience we need. Our job is to pay attention and recognize God’s voice when we hear it. We can learn the sound of God’s voice by praying the scriptures.
God speaks to our mind, heart and body. If we expect intellectual experience alone, we may miss a quiet sense of encouragement and strengthening of will. Emotional and physical excitement may be part of our experience. It may be much quieter - simply a change in perspective about a situation, other people or about ourselves.

The passage from Luke is a call to change perspective. Jesus asked the crowd if they thought that others were suffering disasters because they had sinned. Many of us take the perspective that others suffer because of mistakes or sins. With a little effort, we can compile a complete inventory of why the other fellow is in trouble. But the Gospel says otherwise; we need to take inventory of our own shortcomings – and then change.

After judging ourselves, we can then ask for God’s help (i.e. repent). Then we will find that we are like the fig tree. We will have water and nourishment in the form of spiritual experiences. We will also have time to bear fruit.

Herb Ely

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