THE THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT
First Reading: Exodus 3: 1-15
Comment: “God calls and sends Moses”
In this Hebrew Bible story, Moses is encountered by the Lord in the burning bush. He is called to his mission to lead the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, and he asks to know the name of this God of his ancestors. God’s answer to Moses is intriguing and mysterious. The response may indicate a proper name which traditionally has been known as Yahweh. God’s answer may, however, suggest a meaning like “The One who causes to be,” or “I am who I am,” or “I will be what I will be.”
The psalmist seeks the Lord, in whose presence there is sufficiency and contentment.
SECOND READING (The Epistle): 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Comment: “Israel, baptized in cloud and seas”
In this reading, Paul looks back to the great events, to the exodus story and sees lessons for contemporary Christians. Some disciples apparently believed that participation in baptism and the Eucharist would automatically prevent sin and excuse them from judgement. Paul suggests that the passing of the Israelites through the sea, and the food and water they received in the wilderness, can be understood as types of the Christian sacraments. Yet the Israelites still committed sin and fell into condemnation.
THE HOLY GOSPEL: Luke 13:1-9
Comment: “The parable of the fig tree”
In our gospel Jesus uses two contemporary disasters and a parable of his own to stress the need for repentance. Some might think that those who died in these tragedies were more sinful than others. Not necessarily so. Unless people use the time allotted for a change of heart and turning to God, they too will come to a tragic end.