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Lorida, Florida
Tir De , Gaelic for "God's Country"

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Spiritual Reflections
by Fr. Sean C. Mulcahy,

A Talk for the Third Sunday of Lent
February 28th, 2016

"Seize the Day—Today"

“This is the Day the Lord has made, Let us be glad and rejoice”, this scriptural injunction ought to reflect how we greet each new day. Let us embrace what comes, knowing that God is with us. Some of you may have seen a movie a few years ago ,”Catch Me if you Can”. It was based on a true story of Frank Abagnale, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Frank’s dad, Frank was a for a time in serious trouble with the IRS. His wife divorced him, and the resulting break-up of the family had a profound effect on young Frank, aged sixteen. He began impersonating adults engaged in several vocations –a substitute teacher, a Pan Am co-pilot, a medical doctor. He was arrested, after traveling across several continents, and sentenced to 12 years. He was given early release in return for his skill and expertise, and became a consultant to the FBI and thousands of corporations around the world. Thank God for second chances.

In the gospel we read: “ A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down. Why should it use up the soil? The gardener said to the owner in reply, “Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it, it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.” Now what is this little parable telling us? The fig tree is a symbol of the people. The vineyard owner decides that it is time to cut it down because it’s costing the soil too much to sustain an unproductive fig tree. This of course is telling us that the people are unproductive –they are not following God’s laws. The one who took care of the vineyard obviously is Christ, who suggested to the owner to give the fig tree another chance. And remember that Christ now lives with God constantly interceding for us – to give us, you and I another and another chance.

In our first reading from Exodus we meet Moses, who while tending his father-in-law’s flocks sees a burning bush, and God reveals himself as: “I am, sent me to you.” And then he tells Moses that he has witnessed the affliction of my people and have heard their cry...therefore I have come down to rescue them...and lead them into a good and spacious land.” We have the same God watching over us, and rescuing us today. There was a belief at the time of Jesus that when bad things happened to people, it was assumed they were doing ‘bad things’; and so Jesus, in answer to those who told him about the people who were killed by the falling tower, that they were no more guilty than anyone else, but unless they repent, they too will perish. Hence Lent is a time not to point the finger at others, but at ourselves; ‘Come back to me with all your heart.’ Amen.






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Tir De Retreat Center, Lorida, Florida.
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