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Theology for the common man

3rd Sunday in Lent C Year

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The mercy of God is always a cause of divine action. It is the essence of today’s readings. The first reading speaks about a meeting of God, Yahweh with Moses in a burning bush. A miraculous phenomenon and news about the presence of God put Moses in a state of a fear because he became aware of God himself before him. Moses quickly realizes and hides his face, in a correct position to listen to the will of God, although not without criticism. God appears merciful, guaranteeing the realization of the salutary plans toward his chosen nation. Moses on the other hand, is humble although not a constrained man, becomes an instrument of liberation for the Israel nation from Egyptian slavery according to the will of God. What is remarkable in this passage is that God reveals his name: “I am”, in a sense of His participation and protection of the chosen nation during its history. This is why He recalls its great patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Of course this divine name was revealed in a perfect way in His Son, Jesus Christ, because God not only intervened in the history of Israel trough the prophets and heroes but He became one of us experiencing a human condition including a death, which became salutary, medium-act of God. Participation of the chosen nation to the wonders of God during its history didn’t convince all to the faith and conversion; this is why they died on the desert not seeing the promise of God, i.e. not entering the promise land, as St. Paul explains. In the same spirit, Jesus Christ teaches his listeners that thanks to Him they always have access to the presence of God, to believe and to convert. If they do not use His salutary mediation they will also die, like those Galileans killed by Pilate or the others on whom the tower of Siloam fell and killed them. Those are tragic situations from the time of Jesus, which He recalled as vivid examples. How many disasters happen every day in our time? The coming of Jesus, like the work of the gardener in his garden and his three-year period of cultivation, taking care of a fig tree could also finish tragically: be cut down and thrown out. The Church wants to encourage us to use this Lenten time to convert.