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Third Sunday of Lent – Cycle C

Reflecting on Luke 13:1-9

Second chances. What a gift they are. I’m thinking of that kind teacher who said, halfway through the quarter on Algebra II so many years ago, “You know, Kathy, your talents could be used elsewhere. Let’s transfer you out of this class before too much times goes by.”

Ha! From this long distance I can still hear her voice, but of course today I can hear what she was really saying: “You are NEVER going to get this! You are EXASPERATING your teacher and everyone else in the class. We’re transferring you out before EVERYONE DESPAIRS.”

Even now I remember the relief of that undeserved kindness, that grace. That moment became a turning point in my life. Those of us who had kind parents can trace grace in a thousand ways. I pray for those who did not receive that grace, who have had to find kindness from other sources than their families of origin. I pray that grace has found them, and strengthened them throughout their lives.

That barren fig tree got a second chance, because the kind Gardener resolved to give it extra attention, extra effort. Do you have some fig trees hanging around in your life, maybe some bad habits that could be transformed with some discipline and pruning? Are you spinning your wheels on the same old vices, recognizing that they do not satisfy, but too invested in them to step away?

Let this be the Lent you submit to the grace of second chances. Let the Gardener show you the dead branches in your life, the secrets that aren’t keeping you safe, the fruit that’s been waiting to grow from your freshly repaired life.

What dead growth are you resolved to attack and master this season?

Kathy McGovern ©2022

Lent - Cycle C

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