Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year C
Theme: LEAVING THE OLD LIFE FOR THE NEW LIFE IN CHRIST
By: Fr. Arthur Ntembula
Homily for Sunday March 20 2022
(Exodus 3:1-8.13-15, 1Corinthians 10:1-6.10-12, Luke 13:1-9)
God looks at the slavery of the Israelites and, through his servant Moses, seeks to liberate them. But Moses expresses fear because it is a difficult mission. It requires courage. God tells him to go and simply say that “I AM WHO AM” has sent him. In other words, Moses is instructed to go and introduce the God of all times to them. He is a God whose presence is sure. This is the same God who has heard their plight and is moved to save them.
The Israelites have been invited by God to a new life. They have to leave Egypt, their old life and set on a journey towards the Promised Land, the new life. Leaving an old life for a new life is a life of repentance, to which we too are called. Repentance is about leaving old ways of life and embracing new life in Christ, the fulfilment of God’s promises. This call to repentance is re-echoed in the gospel when Jesus tells his listeners to repent so that they do not face eternal damnation. To re-enforce this call, he gives them a parable of the fig tree. Unless this fig bears fruit, it shall be uprooted by the owner. The people need to begin to bear fruit or they will be destined for eternal damnation.
God wants to liberate us from the things that have enslaved us. He wants us to be ready to leave our “Egypt” behind and begin a new life in the land of “milk and honey,” which he has prepared for us. Yes, our journey from Egypt to the Promised Land may be long and tedious. There may be little food and scarce water on the way, but we also know that in this desert, we are not walking alone. Our God, who reveals himself as the I AM is accompanying us until we come to our destination, just as he did to the Israelites. Ours is to remain steadfast in our faith, embracing him as our only companion.
As God makes efforts to intervene in our situations, he also wants to use us to ease the pain of others and to give freedom to the enslaved. We are the “Moses” of today. If all of us would go out there to liberate even at least one person by offering a helping hand, then the whole world would be a liberated society. If we are the “Moses” of today, then we should not be the ones to enslave others. Our responsibility is to move other people from the land of slavery to the promised land of peace. When Jesus talks about repentance, he means changing from being a fruitless to a fruitful “fig-tree,” from being a “Pharaoh” to a “Moses,” and from holding on to “Egypt” to letting go and moving towards “Canaan,” and from being enslavers, to being liberators. He is talking about showing our faith in the fruits of charity and love.
ENJOY YOUR LITURGY
Fr. Arthur Ntembula