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  • Bill Miller

Third Sunday of Lent, March 20, 2022

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

Ask a Catholic what they are “doing for Lent” and the odds are real good they will tell you what they are NOT doing. They are not drinking alcohol or not eating sweets, not posting on social media, etc. Now those disciplines are all good… But that wasn't your question, was it? Your question was, “What are you doing?, What are you producing? “

So let's take a look at the parable in today's gospel. The owner of the orchard comes upon a fig tree that is not producing any figs. Presumably, that is why the tree was planted to begin with. Not for ornamental purposes, but to produce figs.

We overhear the conversation between the owner and the gardener. The owner wants to get rid of the tree now. The gardener votes for giving the tree a little extra care and one more year in the hope that next year it will bear fruit. We don't know the outcome of that discussion but it may well be that the fig tree’s days are limited.

Be the fig tree in the parable. And now ask yourself the question, “What am I doing for Lent?

What gifts or talents has God given me ? Was that for ornamental purposes, or was that to help build the kingdom of God? And why am I here at this time and place? Why do I find myself among these particular friends and family members? What does God want me to produce?

Halfway through Lent, now might be a good time to answer the question what am I DOING for Lent?

Are there people relying on me for affirmation or support, a listening ear or a clarifying discussion? Are there bridges of reconciliation that I am able to build? Are there avenues for peace and justice that I can support with my time, talent or treasure?

That fig tree in the parable doesn't have forever to produce the fruit it was made for… And neither do we.

Pat Schnee

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