We Need to be fruitful Trees in God’s Orchard:
This season of Lent keeps reminding us of our need to grow in holiness and goodness. The message of the Gospel encourages us to do what we can so we can come to Easter with mind and heart renewed. This week we have the first of three scrutinies (10:30 AM Mass). Our community prays for those who are preparing to come into the Church at Easter so that they are better able to live the Christian way of life. May we all do a better job of living up to what God wants of us. We know that tragic events can occur randomly, as in the cases of the Galileans and the eighteen Jerusalemites and have nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of the victims. For example, a tornado that destroys a nightclub also destroys a Church. An earthquake or tsunami kills the saints as well as the sinners in the affected area. In all these cases, we need to trust in Divine mercy, believing that God is with us and God is on our side, even in those situations we cannot explain. Jesus’ life is the clearest evidence that a person’s suffering is not proof of that person’s sin. Divine grace is expressed as justice with compassion, and judgment with mercy. But we cannot continue to draw strength and sustenance from God without producing fruit. Let us turn to Christ, acknowledge our faults and failings and receive from him mercy, forgiveness and the promise of eternal life. There is no better way to take these words of Jesus to heart than to go to sacramental confession, and there is no better time to go to confession than during Lent. We will be celebrating our Lenten reconciliation service on Wednesday, March 27 at 6:30PM. This is an ideal time “to dig around and manure” the tree of our life so that it may bring forth fruits. The “fruits” God expects from us during Lent are repentance, renewal of life and the resulting virtues of love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, selflessness and humble service.