YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 3RD SUNDAY OF LENT
HOMILY THEME: REPENTANCE
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
HOMILY: (Lk. 13:1-9) Third Sunday of Lent, Day Nineteen (19) of Lent
In today’s Gospel Jesus was confronted about two issues; Pilate’s brutality to the Galileans and the sad fate of eighteen people who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell. The people informed Jesus of these two situations thinking that they were better off. While it was true that they were suffering oppression and injustice from the Romans, for Jesus, even those whose cause is just need conversion. One who seeks justice is not exempted from being just! But the lesson is clear; just as the fig tree is given a chance to bear fruit, all of us will be given chances to repent and bear fruit. The opportunity should be seized as soon as possible.
Jesus gives a very good lesson here. He was not saying that Pilate was blameless. Pilate was known for his cruelty. The people were challenging Jesus’ position with regards to what Pilate did to His fellow Galileans. But Jesus will not be provoked. Instead, He brought the situation to a higher ground. Instead of dealing with Pilate, He turned to the people and appeal for their repentance. It is now the opportune time to change and bear fruit. Thus, He told them the parable of the barren fig tree.
The same is true with those who were killed by the fallen tower of Siloam. Jesus would not want to waste time talking about why those people suffered a tragic fate. He wanted His listeners to dwell on things which will make them bear fruit. And that is through repentance.
The parable gives the main message which is God’s mercy. God wants us all to be with His family in His Kingdom. He does not anyone to be lost. Just as a shepherd will search for a lost sheep, or anyone will diligently look for a lost coin, God will also be restless without us in His fold.
This was also depicted when Jesus was asked by Peter how many times must we forgive. Jesus response of “seventy times seven” means “limitless.” As long as there is an opportunity to forgive, the Christian must always take it. Repentance should always have a corresponding forgiveness. With God, it is always the case. Hopefully, it is also the case with us.