Reflection: 24th March 2019

A Reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent

Lk 13: 1-9 ( )

We live on borrowed time.

My father often references a Polish phrase that roughly translates as ‘Silly hair runs away from a wise head’. According to his theory, he is slowly but surely becoming very wise indeed! And while I might currently get a good laugh from my ‘follically-challenged’ father, it is inevitable that, thanks to my genes, I too will become very ‘wise’ one day.

In today’s Gospel we hear the parable of the fig tree where a gardener displays relentless compassion to prevent his tree from being cut down, and the seemingly barren tree is gifted one more year to attempt to bear fruit. Just like the fig tree, we have been blessed with the gift of time. Some of us have less of it than others; some have used theirs better than others but regardless, the good news is that, in this moment, we all have it!

Aquinas tells us that we have the right to private ownership but not the private use of our possessions/gifts, and so the question that we are faced with today is: ‘How do we use the gift of our time to do God’s work?’ To borrow a phrase from our Jesuit friends, how can we become ‘men and women for others’?

Traditionally, during the Lenten season we consciously take the time to raise our minds and hearts to God, we seek communion with God, we seek a relationship with God and with one another and we do this by praying, fasting and giving alms.

In the hustle and bustle of today’s world where it is easy to focus on what is simple rather than what is good, it is our duty to consider prayerfully what we do with the gift of our time so that, as we become wiser, our capacity for bearing fruit has truly been reached.

Adam Puszczewicz  - Adam is chaplain to Willow Park Junior School and to boarders in Blackrock College.