Archives for the month of: March, 2015

In the Gospel for Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent, Jesus tells the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.  The Master orders the indebted servant and his family sold to pay the debt.  “At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’  Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan” (Matthew 18: 26-27).  When someone later approached the servant to forgive a debt, the servant refused.  The Master was infuriated when he learned that the forgiven servant refused to forgive someone else.  The Master expected the same mercy from his servant that he extended to him.  Jesus expects us to share with others the mercy God has for us.  We are to be as compassionate towards others as God with us.  Christians forgive those who hurt them.  We accept those who disagree with us.  We reach out to those who dislike us.  How do you imitate God’s mercy?

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In the Gospel for Monday of the Third Week of Lent, Jesus enrages his listeners.  “When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury” (Luke 4: 28).  As the Chosen people, they are expecting special treatment from God.  Jesus tells them otherwise.  God’s love is unconditional.   Like Elisha, Jesus is the prophet of God’s saving grace for everyone.   Among all the lepers in Israel, the prophet Elisha cures Naaman, a foreigner.   In Jesus, God offers salvation to all, not a select few.  Christians limit God when they think they are better than others.  Faith in Christ is not a badge of distinction.  Disciples of Jesus reach out in love to everyone, especially those over whom they feel superior.  How can God heal you of your feelings of superiority?

In the Gospel for Friday of the Second Week of Lent, Jesus tells the Parable of the Wicked Tenants.  The tenants of a vineyard kill the owner’s servants and son when they come to collect the produce.  The owner puts the wicked servants to death and rents the vineyard to others.  Jesus explains the story. “The Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit” (Matthew 21: 43).   The parable is an allegory.  The owner of the vineyard is God.  The servants are the prophets.  The son is Jesus.  The new tenants are the people of God, the Church.  The vineyard is the reign of God.  In Christ, God has entrusted the vineyard to us.  God wants us to accept everyone, even those whom we dislike, mistrust, or hate.  God wants us to resolve conflict with peace and mercy, not violence and retribution.  God wants us to accept Jesus as his beloved Son and follow his example of selfless love.  How do you promote God’s reign in the vineyard of your life?