Third Sunday

As I get older, I notice my forgetfulness more often, luckily over unimportant matters. At times, I cannot recall a word or a person’s name from the past, or the answer to a trivia question. The answer or name will often come later in the day. My chance to be a Jeopardy winner has certainly passed. I don’t think I would make it past the audition. 

Today in the readings this third Sunday of Lent we are reminded to remember. The Lord tells Moses after his encounter with the burning bush, in Exodus, “This is my name forever; thus am I to be remembered to all the generations.” Exodus 3:15.In the first letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 10:1-12, St. Paul warns us not to forget the past and our history, “Whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall.” This is the cost of not remembering our past. In order to understand our present, we must look at our past.Finally, in Luke 13:9, Jesus says, “Leave it for a year or so, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not, cut it down.” Jesus gives us the chance to rebound, recoup, and become more loving in the future. The fig tree is given a reprieve. This is offered to us as long as we remember to follow Him and ask for His grace.

This theme of remembering has made me ask, “Do I have spiritual amnesia?” This Lent is a perfect time to remember and reflect. Here are some questions to ask. Have I have become complacent? Do I remember the blessings God has given me? Do I think I have arrived and am fine just as I am? Have I forgotten how much I need God’s grace? Do I admit there have been times I have missed the mark and sinned?

Yes, we are forgiven, but we must be vigilant in our awareness and clear in our intention so it does not reoccur. During this life, there is no end to the spiritual journey. The end is only upon death and into new life. We are never “done,” nor do reach our goal here. We can never forget every day is a challenge. We are tempted, situations develop, we suffer losses, old patterns and habits emerge, tragedies occur. This can take us away from the source of our strength. All we have is pure gift. We need to remember this. Grace is a gift and without it we will not be able to make the right choices and fight whatever our weakness or temptations may be. If we fall, it is grace that helps us get back up.

As Jesus said, we must not forget to care for the seed growing in our souls. It needs constant care – water, rich soil, and fertilizer. God is the gardener of our lives. This is a spiritual truth we must never forget if we do not want to be a barren tree that dies and is lost forever.