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28th Feb. 2016 - 3rd Sunday of Lent C

posted 26 Feb 2016, 12:34 by St Wilfrid RC Haltwhistle

H.B. & Hw.

"I am has sent me to you" "I am has sent me to you."

Moses' line. Jesus' line. Paul's line; your line and my line

What's my line? "I am has sent me to you." And "I am" is

compassion and love. "I am" "forgives all your guilt;"

"heals every one of your ills", "redeems your life from the

grave," crowns you with love and compassion, slow to

anger, rich in mercy. And "I am" has sent me to you. To be

compassion and love, forgiveness and healing, redemption

and mercy.

Gosh. Talk about tall orders! But that is the order of the

day. How things are, who I am, what I am for. The day of

the Lord. That is the order of things in the Kingdom. No

'if's'. No 'but's'. Andjust in case we are tempted to qualify

this too good to be true message of love and compassion,

never forget the barren fig tree. Leave it, leave it, leave it.

"Leave it one more year". Jesus' signature tune. Leave it.

Leave it one more year. Give me time, Jesus says. Give me

time to cultivate, nourish and affirm my sister and my

brother. Let me walk with, love, forgive, heal, redeem and

show God's infinite mercy to my brother and my sister. I am

has sent me!


Takes a lot of doing. It takes a lot to change to get onto this

wavelength. It demands a complete mental, spiritual shift.

About turn. Paradigm shift. Conversion. To begin to think

in this way and so act in this way. God's way. God's way

with us. Our way with each other, ideally. The way things

should be. Repentance is the other word for it. Radical

change. Because, let's face it, we can enjoy all the gifts of

our religion, Mass, sacraments, preaching and prayer and

still give our brothers and sisters a very hard time indeed.

And we know it!

We also know from our human experience that a spoonful of

sugar goes far further than a whole barrel of vinegar. Indeed,

"the life of the people under Moses in the desert was written

down to be a lesson for us." To show us. To show us that

we can hear the message of compassion and love in season

and out of season and still not get it! "Please be patient, God

isn't finished with me yet." That is the unspoken plea of


To turn a deaf ear is not just hardness of hearing. Far more

seriously it is hardness of heart. And one can perish from

hardness of heart. It is spiritual hardening of the arteries,

(arteriosclerosis). It leads to cardiac arrest. No, the Lord is

compassion and love, full stop. That's how things are. So

it's really the only way to be, at all times, in all places, for

all persons. "I am has sent me to you to be compassion and