YEAR OF PRAYER: THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT

To be ‘tender of heart’, to be humble is one of the more attractive personality traits we see in people.  Humility can best be described as a “generosity of spirit” – a willingness to see our own interests in others – to evaluate our attitudes and see the face of God in each and every one of our neighbours, friends and family members.  We know that this is not always easy. When we feel insecure, anxious or envious, it is easier for us to see the negative and to engage in putting others down, to make quick and unkind judgements. But Jesus warns against this way of being. Instead he invites us to embrace an abundance of spirit, a generosity towards other people, that shows the fruit of being a true follower. By living like this we will flourish, we will bear fruit. We will not wither and die but live! In the little parable of the fig tree there is good news. There is time to learn and to grow in humility. The gardener says to the owner – be patient – I will keep tending the tree, feeding it and nurturing it, until it bears fruit. If it doesn’t bear fruit in the next season, then you can cut it down. It seems we have a little time to learn to be tender-hearted.

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