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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Weekly Gospel Reflection
Fr. Luke passed away on August 10. Prior to his illness, he had prepared gospel reflections for each Sunday of the Liturgical year. We will continue to share his wisdom and faith.
Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

March 24, 2019—Third Sunday of Lent

  Luke 13:1-9

Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

At a parish mission several years ago, a lady told me that her brother, a priest, was celebrating Mass. After the presentation of the gifts, it was time for the server to pour water over the priest’s hands as he prayed, “Lord, wash away my iniquity, cleanse me from my sins.” Then the server noticed that the water cruet was almost empty. He said, “Father, I don’t think we have enough water to wash away your iniquities.”

The server might pour the water, but it is Jesus who washes away our iniquities. And there is urgency in today’s Gospel where Jesus tells us the necessity of repentance. Saint Luke mentions events of his time: Pilate’s slaughter of some Jews who were at worship, and the collapse of a tower that killed eighteen people. Jesus said that those people were not more guilty than others. But unless we all repent, we will suffer much worse.

Then Jesus shows in his parable of the unfruitful fig tree how God wants to bring us to life. The gardener refuses to consign the tree to the flames until he has cultivated and fertilized and done everything possible to make it bear good fruit. So too, God does everything possible to bring us to repentance.

In this Lenten season, let’s remember the greatest way we have of repenting, the Sacrament of Penance. In this sacrament, Jesus allows us to confess our sins to him, then assures us through the priest that our sins are forgiven. This great sacrament cultivates the soil of our soul so that the life of grace can flourish in us and bear much fruit.

We don’t need water to wash away our iniquities. We can turn to Jesus. In the Sacrament of Penance he forgives our iniquities and fills our souls with his living grace.

Read last week's reflection.