Third Sunday of Lent: Luke 13:1-9
Are you prepared to meet the living God? On Monday of this week I was walking in downtown Nashville where I went to bury the ashes of a priest friend. As I was preparing to cross the street to the Cathedral, I came upon a large building under construction. The superstructure of exposed steel girders came to the edge of the sidewalk. There were two large cranes swinging high above, as well as industrial elevators carrying supplies up and down. Immediately I thought: give this building wide berth; I’m afraid some loose girder might come crashing down. When I read the story in today’s gospel about the tower of Siloam falling on the people below, I thought of this building in Nashville. I was not yet ready to return to ashes!
Am I prepared to meet the living God? Are you? The question is not farfetched. Last week’s news makes the reality abundantly terrifying. Think of those people on the Ethiopian Airlines flight. They had no idea they were about to see God face to face. Or the people at prayer in the mosques in New Zealand. They did not know that their last end was moments away. So, what about you and me? Lent is a time to ponder this, our last end, dust to dust. Jesus makes this pointedly clear in today’s gospel. St. Paul warns the Corinthians today and us: “These things have been written down as a warning to us, upon whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall.” What does that mean? Repent. Turn back to God. Pay attention to holy ground. The key message of Lent.
Are nourishing your soul this Lent with prayer and spiritual reading?Today’s Gospel parable says: “Cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it.” Fertilize the ground of your spirit like the earth. Why? So you will bear fruit in good works. Deacon Brian and Deacon Bruce have given us wonderful examples in their homilies over the past weeks of things we can do. Yet another is the retreat that we are all invited to attend at St. Lawrence in Lawrenceburg on Saturday, March 30, led by Bishop John.
Cultivate your soil. Bear good fruit. And, when you’re walking down the sidewalk, stay clear of buildings under construction with their swinging cranes overhead!