Monday, March 18
I sometimes question why tragedies happen to good people while bad things seem not to happen to bad people. This scripture mentions two events in which bad things happened to unsuspecting people. It makes us realize that our existence is delicately precarious. Jesus asked if those who suffered these tragedies were greater sinners or guiltier than those who were present, but yet spared from the same calamities. Jesus implies that the victims did nothing wrong – nothing that caused their demise.
In the face of tragedy, which can sadly become commonplace, Jesus provides comfort and a sobering call for all of us to examine our own lives. We should not assume that others who are experiencing bad things are being punished or make assumptions that people always get what they deserve. In God’s eyes, we all have sinned, and suffering is not direct retribution for sin. Tragedies should teach us that since death and judgment are imminent, we need to be ready through true repentance. We don’t know when our time is up, but as Jesus states in this scripture, unless we repent, we too will perish like the people who suffered in this scripture.
Later in this scripture, Jesus tells the parable of the fig tree. For years the tree has had no fruit, and its owner tells the gardener to cut it down. However, the gardener states that he will fertilize and nurture the tree waiting to see if it bears any fruit. Are we like the fig tree just sitting around, not bearing fruit, and seemingly doing nothing? What am I doing to be a fruit during this season of Lent? Am I rooted in Christ and living a Christian life to the fullest? The Lenten season offers us an opportunity to make us aware of God’s presence in our lives. Let us be open to being tooled and nurtured by God, like the gardener who fertilized and nurtured the fig tree. And, let us not presume that others who are not experiencing good things in their lives are being punished. God is there when tragedy happens and when good things happen to guide us to live a more full and dedicated life of faith.
Prayer: Lord, help us to give up what stands between us and you. Let us use this Lenten season to examine ourselves in the sight of God and experience the liberating presence of repentance and the new life it brings. May we not squander the grace of the present moment. May we say yes to you, to your will, and to your way of holiness. Let us not wait to repent for we are living on borrowed time. Amen.