12 March 2013
Extracted from the Book of Exodus 3:1-8,13-15:
Moses was looking after the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law priest of Midian. He led his flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the shape of a flame of fire, coming from the middle of a bush. Moses looked; there was the bush blazing but it was not being burnt up. ‘I must go and look at this strange sight,’ Moses said, ‘and see why the bush is not burnt.’ Now the Lord saw him go forward to look, and God called to him from the middle of the bush. ‘Moses, Moses!’ he said. ‘Here I am,’ Moses answered. ‘Come no nearer,’ he said. ‘Take off your shoes, for the place on which you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your fathers,’ he said, ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ At this Moses covered his face, afraid to look at God.
And the Lord said, ‘I have seen the miserable state of my people in Egypt. I have heard their appeal to be free of their slave-drivers. Yes, I am well aware of their sufferings. I mean to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians and bring them up out of that land to a land rich and broad, a land where milk and honey flow, the home of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites.’
Then Moses said to God, ‘I am to go, then, to the sons of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you.” But if they ask me what his name is, what am I to tell them?’ And God said to Moses, ‘I Am who I Am. This’ he added ‘is what you must say to the sons of Israel: “I Am has sent me to you.”’ And God also said to Moses, ‘You are to say to the sons of Israel: “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is my name for all time; by this name I shall be invoked for all generations to come.’
Extracted from the 1st letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians: 1 Corinthians 10:1-6,10-12:
I want to remind you, brothers, how our fathers were all guided by a cloud above them and how they all passed through the sea. They were all baptised into Moses in this cloud and in this sea; all ate the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink, since they all drank from the spiritual rock that followed them as they went, and that rock was Christ. In spite of this, most of them failed to please God and their corpses littered the desert.
These things all happened as warnings for us, not to have the wicked lusts for forbidden things that they had. You must never complain: some of them did, and they were killed by the Destroyer.
All this happened to them as a warning, and it was written down to be a lesson for us who are living at the end of the age. The man who thinks he is safe must be careful that he does not fall.
Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Luke 13:1-9:
Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’
He told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”’
It was the 3rd Sunday of Lent on 3 March 2013. Here are the Readings that were read in Holy Mass in the Universal Church all over the world on the same day:
1st Reading: Exodus 3:1-8,13-15 (see above),
Responsorial: Psalm 103:1-4,6-8,11 (see Encouragements-2),
2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-6,10-12 (see above) &
Gospel Reading: Luke 13:1-9 (see above).
We have extracted the past sermons of Blessed Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you; so that you could similarly be encouraged:
JOHN PAUL II
Third Sunday of Lent, 14 March 2004
1. The Gospel that the Liturgy presents to us this Sunday refers to two tragic events that occurred in Jesus' time: the bloody repression of a rebellion and the collapse upon the surrounding crowd of the tower in Siloam (cf. Luke 13: 1-9). This brings us back to what is happening in our time, unfortunately marked by recurring news of violence and death.
Last Sunday, I referred to hotbeds of war and terrorist attacks that stain with blood various parts of the world. Then last Thursday came the dramatic attacks in Madrid: they took a toll of 200 victims and caused more than 1,000 injuries. The atrocious crime stunned world public opinion. We are deeply distressed at such barbarity and wonder how the human soul can go so far as to conceive such execrable crimes.
2. In reasserting my total condemnation of these unjustifiable acts, I once again express my participation in the grief of the victims' relatives and my closeness in prayer to the injured and their families.
The wave of solidarity witnessed in every corner of Spain last Friday, with the participation of the political Authorities of all Europe, caused a great reverberation throughout the world.
It is precisely by relying on the united contribution of all the healthy forces of the Continent that it is possible to look ahead with confidence and hope for a better future. Above all, those who believe in God, the Creator and Father of all human beings, must feel committed to working for the construction of a more fraternal and supportive world despite the problems and obstacles they may encounter in this process, which is only right and cannot be delayed.
3. In a special way, let us entrust to the motherly hands of Mary, Our Lady of Mercy, the victims of the terrible terrorist attack in Madrid. Let us ask her to protect and to watch over the beloved Nation of Spain, Europe and the whole world.
Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II, so that it could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.