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“God is waiting. God is the winemaker who waits, He believes in the life that is in us. God waits for whom we bore fruit.”
Readings: 3rd Sunday of Lent
“If ye do not convert, ye shall all perish likewise” (Luke Chapter 13)
In this gospel passage hearing Jesus speak of these two situations: the Galileans slaughtered by Pilate and the people crushed by the collapse of a tower comes to mind this common expression: But what have I done to the Good God to deserve this? It's not just a reference to a recent film. This repeats words often spoken when all kinds of suffering, hardship, unexpected worries are beset us.
In both situations of this gospel passage, people's reflex is often to know: whose fault is it? This is our reflex too. In the first case, it is said: it is Pilate's fault or the savagery of those who committed this crime. In the second case, it will be said, it is the fault of the engineer who miscalculated his calculations or the contractor who wanted to save on the construction or the tower that was too old. But in many cases we also say: if there were a good God such disasters would not exist. We call for a sort of anonymous destiny, which is called God for the circumstance, and which is made guilty of disaster. For all sorts of reasons, we remain attached to the idea that sufferings and disasters are sent by God. On this Jesus and with Him the whole Bible are formal: Jesus refuses that these misfortunes be a punishment of God. God is never the source of evil. Jesus does not seek to justify God; God does not intervene in these misfortunes, whether caused by human violence or natural disaster. Jesus also does not pronounce himself on the guilt of the Galileans.
Jesus invites everyone to sweep in front of his door. He hopes that such disasters, if they happen again, will be an opportunity for us all to wake up, and instead of referring to others, to come out of our good conscience, to guide our lives on new paths and to ask us about our true reasons for living: “If you do not Do not convert, you will all perish likewise, as they do.”
But is this time of Lent not a better opportunity to hear this urgency of conversion so present in our Church institution and in our society? Jesus invites us to return to our lives, to rethink our orientations in order to choose to “disenter to love”, to follow Christ on unusual, confusing, sometimes disturbing paths, and to put us at the school of this God who has fought against all forms of evil, death and disease and gave his life out of love: to put to the center what was perhaps relegated to the margins.
Which one of us does not feel personally challenged, questioned? It is good and even necessary to denounce evil towards and against everything. But what is the point of denouncing if our life does not proclaim anything? This is ultimately the question Jesus asks us today, as he asked his listeners. We who react and rightly mourn about so many disasters and scandals, how is our existence concretely denouncing all forms of death? How is it advertising and service of life? How does she testify to the love and the Good News of the Gospel?
Before our lives so often forgotten about Him and others, before our mediocrities, God waits. He does not wait because He has taken his side of our sin and the evil it causes, in an indifferent silence, but his patience is always accompanied by immense hope for us. It is this hope of God that is the surest foundation of the effort, of this conversion that it is up to us to make; this trust of God in the ability of each person to be better, who hopes in me despite my weaknesses, for to Him I am better than I believe. Here we find the God of mercy who does not want to impose himself, who still believes in the possibilities of everyone despite the rejection. We find the God of Jesus who already said to Moses: I have seen, I have seen the misery of my people... to deliver them and bring them up to a beautiful land. God does not ask us to mourn the misfortunes that do not fail to occur, but to straighten ourselves back to the road, to act, each to our measure so that what can overwhelm us and ourselves be reduced. Whenever, even small, we begin to transform a situation, to create new, there is conversion, this trust placed in God by Jesus, this hope, faith in the life that God gives and promises. God is truly that winemaker who is waiting because he believes in the life that is in us. Like the winemaker who heals the fig tree in the Gospel, God waits and accompanies so that we may bring fruit. He trusts our freedom.
It may happen that we doubt ourselves... let us know that God does not doubt us. He puts his hope in us to regain strength and courage in adversity. May this conviction be our joy. Together, let us repeat a verse from this psalm of today: Blessed the Lord, O my soul, forget none of the blessings!
Homily Francis Corbière
Organ: At the Great Organ, Guy Didier
Organ: At the Great Organ, Guy Didier
Works by John Sebastian Bach
-Entry: “Prelude and Fugue in E minor”
-Offertory: Choral “Beloved Jesus Christ, we are yours”
-Communion: “Canonical Variations” (X and XI)
-Output: “Fugue in G Major”
John Sebastian Bach
Also read: The other homilies of Father Francis Corbière
Also read the parish sheet
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