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From: Luke 13:1-9

The Need for Repentance

[1] There were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans
whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. [2] And he answered them,
“Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Gali-
leans, because they suffered thus? [3] I tell you, No; but unless you repent you
will all likewise perish. [4] Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell
and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others
who dwelt in Jerusalem? [5] I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all like-
wise perish.”

Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

[6] And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and
he came seeking fruit on it and found none. [7] And he said to the vinedresser,
‘Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none.
Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?’ [8] And he answered him, ‘Let it
alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. [9] And if it bears
fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”


1-5. Our Lord used current events in his teaching. The Galileans referred to here
may be the same as mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (5:37). The episode
was fairly typical of the times Jesus lived in, with Pilate sternly suppressing any
sign of civil unrest. We do not know anything about the accident at Siloam other
than what the Gospel tells us.

The fact that these people died in this way does not mean that they were worse
than others, for God does not always punish sinners in this life (cf. Jn 9:3). All
of us are sinners, meriting a much worse punishment than temporal misfortune:
we merit eternal punishment; but Christ has come to atone for our sins, he has
opened the gates of heaven. We must repent of our sins; otherwise God will not
free us from the punishment we deserve. “When you meet with suffering, the
Cross, your thought should be: what is this compared with what I deserve?” (St.
J. Escriva, “The Way”, 690)

3. “He tells us that, without Holy Baptism, no one will enter the Kingdom of
heaven (cf. Jn 3:5); and, elsewhere, that if we do not repent we will all perish (Lk
13:3). This is all easily understood. Ever since man sinned, all his senses rebel
against reason; therefore, if we want the flesh to be controlled by the spirit and
by reason, it must be mortified; if we do not want the body to be at war with the
soul, it and all our senses need to be chastened; if we desire to go to God, the
soul with all its faculties needs to be mortified” (St John Mary Vianney, “Selec-
ted Sermons”, Ash Wednesday).

6-9. Our Lord stresses that we need to produce plenty of fruit (cf. Lk 8:11-15) in
keeping with the graces we have received (cf. Lk 12:48). But he also tells us that
God waits patiently for this fruit to appear; he does not want the death of the sin-
ner; he wants him to be converted and to live (Ezek 33:11) and, as St Peter tea-
ches, he is “forbearing towards you, not wishing that any should perish, but that
all should reach repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). But God’s clemency should not lead us
to neglect our duties and become lazy and, comfort-seeking, living sterile lives.
He is merciful, but he is also just and he will punish failure to respond to his

“There is one case that we should be especially sorry about—that of Christians
who could do more and don’t; Christians who could live all the consequences of
their vocation as children of God, but refuse to do so through lack of generosity.
We are partly to blame, for the grace of faith has not been given us to hide but
to share with others (cf. Mt 5:15f). We cannot forget that the happiness of these
people, in this life and in the next, is at stake. The Christian life is a divine won-
der with immediate promises of satisfaction and serenity—but on condition that
we know how to recognize the gift of God (cf. Jn 4:10) and be generous, not
counting the cost” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 147).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

6 posted on 03/02/2013 7:54:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

First reading Exodus 3:1-8,13-15 ©
Moses was looking after the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law priest of Midian. He led his flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the shape of a flame of fire, coming from the middle of a bush. Moses looked; there was the bush blazing but it was not being burnt up. ‘I must go and look at this strange sight,’ Moses said, ‘and see why the bush is not burnt.’ Now the Lord saw him go forward to look, and God called to him from the middle of the bush. ‘Moses, Moses!’ he said. ‘Here I am,’ Moses answered. ‘Come no nearer,’ he said. ‘Take off your shoes, for the place on which you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your fathers,’ he said, ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ At this Moses covered his face, afraid to look at God.
  And the Lord said, ‘I have seen the miserable state of my people in Egypt. I have heard their appeal to be free of their slave-drivers. Yes, I am well aware of their sufferings. I mean to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians and bring them up out of that land to a land rich and broad, a land where milk and honey flow, the home of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites.’
  Then Moses said to God, ‘I am to go, then, to the sons of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you.” But if they ask me what his name is, what am I to tell them?’ And God said to Moses, ‘I Am who I Am. This’ he added ‘is what you must say to the sons of Israel: “I Am has sent me to you.”’ And God also said to Moses, ‘You are to say to the sons of Israel: “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is my name for all time; by this name I shall be invoked for all generations to come.’

Psalm Psalm 102:1-4,6-8,11 ©
The Lord is compassion and love.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
  all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
  and never forget all his blessings.
The Lord is compassion and love.
It is he who forgives all your guilt,
  who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
  who crowns you with love and compassion,
The Lord is compassion and love.
The Lord does deeds of justice,
  gives judgement for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses
  and his deeds to Israel’s sons.
The Lord is compassion and love.
The Lord is compassion and love,
  slow to anger and rich in mercy.
For as the heavens are high above the earth
  so strong is his love for those who fear him.
The Lord is compassion and love.

Second reading 1 Corinthians 10:1-6,10-12 ©
I want to remind you, brothers, how our fathers were all guided by a cloud above them and how they all passed through the sea. They were all baptised into Moses in this cloud and in this sea; all ate the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink, since they all drank from the spiritual rock that followed them as they went, and that rock was Christ. In spite of this, most of them failed to please God and their corpses littered the desert.
  These things all happened as warnings for us, not to have the wicked lusts for forbidden things that they had. You must never complain: some of them did, and they were killed by the Destroyer.
  All this happened to them as a warning, and it was written down to be a lesson for us who are living at the end of the age. The man who thinks he is safe must be careful that he does not fall.

Gospel Acclamation Mt4:17
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
Repent, says the Lord,
for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!

Gospel Luke 13:1-9 ©
Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’
  He told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”’

7 posted on 03/02/2013 8:00:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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