Today and for the next few Sundays in Lent, the readings at the Mass you attend may be different from the readings I will reflect on. The reason is that if your parish has Catechumens and Candidates in RCIA, they will be undergoing scrutinies each Sunday leading up to Easter Vigil. For these scrutinies, the readings are from Year A in the liturgy. I just want you to be aware lest you think I am reflecting on the wrong readings.
In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 13, some people tell Jesus about some Jews who had been killed by Pilate. Jesus’ response is telling. “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! Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them – do yo think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”
The people who perished were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They had no choice in their deaths. We, however, do. Perhaps not with our physical death. But we most certainly have a choice as to whether we experience spiritual life or death. How? Repentance. Turning away from our sins and walking in the ways of the Lord. The same message that Jesus gave that day holds true for us today. If we do not repent, we will surely perish.
Father, we want to live. May we repent today that we may live eternally with you. Amen.
Your parish can help the faithful learn more about the faith in a minute by giving away copies of A Minute in the Church, available for $1 a copy in bulk at www.GusLloyd.com.