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Sunday, March 7, 2010

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Third Sunday of Lent

Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15
1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12
Psalm 103:1-4, 6-8, 11
Luke 13:1-9

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fruitful humility

"Perhaps it will bear fruit. If not, it shall be cut down." —Luke 13:9

Jesus commands us to bear fruit, that is, to lead people to Him. If we don't go and make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19), we will suffer a tragic end (Lk 13:3, 5), be cut down (Lk 13:9), and thrown into the eternal fire of hell (see Jn 15:6). Jesus insists on our bearing fruit not to be harsh with us, but because He wants all "to be saved and come to know the truth" (1 Tm 2:4). Because of His love for all people, Jesus must insist that those who know Him proclaim His crucified love to suffering humanity.

Despite the necessity and urgency of leading others to Christ, many Christians are still reluctant to obey the Lord. We need to do what Moses did when he met God in the burning bush. We must take off our shoes, that is, humble ourselves (Ex 3:5). A humble person will not disobey God. A humble person will not question God's callings, His timing, and the feasibility of His plans. A humble person will go and tell the good news. Possibly the greatest "evangelist" of our times was Mother Teresa. She was not exceptionally articulate or brilliant, but she was humble. Moreover, St. Francis of Assisi was one of the greatest evangelists in the history of the Church because he was humble.

Let's learn from Jesus, Who is gentle and humble of heart (Mt 11:29). When we humble ourselves (Mt 23:12), we will find that the humble are the fruitful.

Prayer:  Father, may the catechumens who had the "First Scrutiny" today inspire us to let You scrutinize and purify our hearts.

Promise:  "Let anyone who thinks he is standing upright watch out lest he fall!" —1 Cor 10:12

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Who humbly descended to the dead to preach the Good News (Catechism, 632; 1 Pt 3:18-19; Eph 4:9-10).

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Pride and Faith on audio AV 64-1 or video V-64.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 26, 2009

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