Rev. Philip-Michael F. Tangorra shares with us "Sitio" from Duboois's "Seven Last Words of Christ." I love this piece of music! VAH!
Rev. Philip-Michael F. Tangorra's Reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent. Used with permission.
Fig trees are a fickle thing. You know you can treat a fig tree with care, water it, wrap it up in a tarp over winter, fertilize the soil around it and still not get the best fruit or any great amount of fruit. This could lead one to wanting to curse such a tree, like Jesus did in the Gospel of Mark (see: Mark 11-14). Yet, in today's Gospel Jesus does not curse the fig tree but grants it some more time to bear fruit and live up to its potential. Again he cultivates the soil around it but then leaves it alone. He allows the fig tree to go about its business without any intervention for a whole year.
What would happen to us if we were left alone for a whole year? Most of us would shrivel up without the life-giving water and blood, spirit and truth, that guides us along the way. And yet there are those, who having not gone to Church for a long while, have done exactly that. They have set themselves on a journey to discover who they are without Christ; who they are without the Church and the faith. Their parents and those who taught them the faith in schools and have cultivated the soil around them and placed them on a good seed-bed. Now it is up to them to choose Christ, who will bring them to fruition or to continue down a path that is most uncertain a path that is a constant Lent, a prolonged desert experience. And, it is precisely in this experience where the heart yearns so much for Love and for a sense of being whole that the person will realize that peace only comes from Christ, the God of the Sabbath; the God of Peace. It is peace and stability that they will yearn for. It is the Sacred Heart and the maternal care of Mary that will embrace them and fill them with their every longing for love. And it is in the Church, in the Sacraments and the community of the faithful, that such will be able to be disposed to them.
Many young people, and not so young people, are currently travelling this journey. It is for us, who have found meaning in life and know that that meaning can only be found in Christ Jesus to constantly pray for those who are taking this journey and provide support, mercy and love to those who are currently upon this spiritual journey. We must be like the Father of the prodigal son, ready to welcome home those who have wandered off and rejoice upon their return. We must also invite people to come to Mass, to come back home to the faith and when we do so we must be ready to support that invitation with the reasons why the faith is so very important to everyone's life.
Rejoice in that the fig tree is planted in good soil and loved by God. Rejoice in its return to bearing fruit when that day comes. And during this time of Lent be sure to remove all obstacles that may present themselves toward hindering someone's return. A Christian must always stand ready to invite and welcome home anyone who desires to return home to Holy Mother Church. God Bless!