This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Some people told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. Jesus said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!
A few days ago, a student wrote me and asked me what it meant to be “blessed”, and if some people were more “blessed” than others? I thought about it for a while and wrote back, “To be blessed means to know you are loved. So all of us are blessed, but not all of us know it.”
Cut it down! In today’s Gospel passage, the Lord tells his listeners a parable regarding a fig tree. By all accounts, this tree should be producing fruit. But after three years, it has produced not a single fig! So the owner of the tree orders it to be cut down. But the gardener has a different idea: “Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it.”
This tree represents this sinner. It represents me. I should be producing good fruit. I am healthy. I am knowledgeable. I am gifted. But I am not who I ought to be!
Repent! Before I can repent of my sins, I need to be remorseful of my sins. And before I can be remorseful of my sins, I need to acknowledge my sins. In other words, I need to admit that I am not who I ought to be.
I Am Who Am. At the burning bush, Moses pleaded with God to reveal His name. God replied: “I am who I am.” Then he added, “This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you” (Ex 3:13-15).
What kind of name is that? Well, a very profound name, a very revealing name.
God is the God of all “be-ings.” “To be or not to be” depends on God. The LORD God has answered our most child-like question: “Who created God?” “I AM who am” means I AM the source of all that IS. My very essence is to be.
I know there is only one God and I know I am not Him! But this revelation is not a subtle reminder on the part of God of who I can never be; nor is it a good excuse for denying who I ought to be. For if the Lord can make the weak strong, then I have no excuse.
The Lord is the source of all that is good and holy. So why am I not good? Why am I not holy? Is it because I can’t be or is it because I choose not to be?
To be holy means to love. God is not holy because he is all-powerful. There are a lot of people in the world that are powerful. Not one of them is holy. So I would not consider being powerful the same as being holy! Nor would I consider being all-knowing the same as being all-holy. Again, there are a lot of people who know a lot, but that doesn’t make them holy. Well, if God is not holy because He is all-powerful, all-knowing and even all-present, then what is it about Him that makes Him holy? I think it is the fact that He is love, and that is what makes him all-powerful and all-knowing!
Lent is that time of year to convert our hearts back to the Lord. He can make me who I ought to be. He can make me more loving, more forgiving and more giving, for He made me in His image and likeness. I can be who I was created to be!
Resolution: I must repent for my sins. I must acknowledge the fact that I have sinned against God and against my true nature. I am not who I ought to be. This week I will go to Confession.
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