October 25, 2008
Saturday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Luke 13: 1-9
At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them--do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did." Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, 'See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?' He replied, 'Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'"
Introductory Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for coming so that we might have life. I know that you sent your Son as a priceless blessing of forgiveness and renewal. Guide my heart and mind to know that what matters is not so much what I do, but that I do it for you and that I desire to be with you forever.
Petition: Help me, Lord, to seek your forgiving heart and to start anew. Help me to study your words, to remember your kindness and humility, and to be changed and renewed by your Spirit.
1. Changed by the Spirit
All of us have been disfigured by original sin, but Christ was sent so that sin would not chain us down. We can be renewed, healed and made whole again when we go into the confessional. We shed that old broken self for a renewed spirit. We are gradually transformed into the likeness of Christ. Even the worst of sinners can repent. Remember that Peter denied Christ -- the worst of sins -- but he had the courage to be changed and renewed by Christ’s forgiveness. Are you ready to be changed and renewed?
2. Joy of Renewal
Springtime brings new life; it brings a sense of renewal to the world. We people have renewal every moment of every day, for we know that Christ was sent to renew us. Be joyful in this, accept this and live this. In his love for us and in his pity for us, Christ has redeemed us and renewed our hearts. Know that we can abide in his Spirit and that his promise – his guarantee of a holy and heavenly inheritance – will follow.
3. Sharing in the Peace
God never intended for his joy to be for a select few; he intended for all of us to share in that peace. Have you ever wondered, “What if Jesus had stayed in just one town?” What if, by some impossible circumstance, he had intended to save just a limited few? I would have never known of and experienced his love. But the truth is that we do know the joy and peace of the Lord. We have been changed by his Spirit and renewed by his love for us. We must share in that joy and peace and spread the Good News. The Gospel of John tells us: “For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit” (John 3:34).
Conversation with Christ: Christ, I know that you have called me to be changed and transformed by your Spirit, and I see the joy of a renewed spirit within me. Help me to become more like you. I know that in the midst of God’s love for us, he has provided for us the joy of reconciliation and repentance. This priceless act of love is all I need. Help me to share in that love.
Resolution: I resolve, with the help of the Spirit, to allow my heart to be transformed by the love of Christ. I will make a good confession today.
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