The Road Home
We just have to come to believe in God’s total love for us. Our Scripture readings for this Third Sunday of Lent give strong evidence. That burning bush that intrigued Moses is burning in our midst as well. Elizabeth Barrett Browning captured this image in one of her poems:
“Every common bush is afire with the presence of God; but only those who see take off their shoes. The rest sit around plucking blackberries.”
God is present in all of His creation. He wants to be known by you and by me. He does not hide from us, but realizing his presence demands our attention. Because our Divine God is also mystery, we need to take time with His word to allow his gentle but determined revelation to sink deeply into our interior.
In the Gospel, Jesus does come across as somewhat stern. It’s not that he wants us to cower in fear. But he is speaking the glaring truth. We are sinners. He, as the Son of God, desires our repentance. This is our role in this whole matter of redemption. Jesus, as our Messiah, our Savior, does all the rest. It is very likely it will take all of eternity for us to fathom the enormity, and the beauty of this, His gift.
However, as we continue reading this Gospel message, Jesus does soften His words with the parable of the reluctant fig tree. He now has to be the gardener willing to save the tree, ready, yes, even eager to give it some added TLC. We, of course, are the tree.
Do not, in the least, make light of God’s love for us. Do not doubt his constant, caring presence. During this Lent, we do well to read these Scriptures at least three times. We tend to miss so much, especially since we so often peruse them very quickly in our first reading. Enjoy and live the story of our redemption!