Third Sunday of Lent


Catholic Sunday Reflection

by Rev. Fr. Tristan Jasper D. Laforteza

While channel surfing one night, I chanced upon a show called 100 Days to Heaven. This soap opera is about the story of a woman who died and returned to earth in the form of a child so that she could rectify all the mistakes that she had committed during her lifetime. It was so unfortunate that the woman prioritized the attainment of her own ambitions by being selfish, greedy, mistreating and stepping down on other people. Fortunately, as she was about to be brought to hell, the gatekeeper of Heaven gave her 100 days to accomplish her mission on earth for the second time.

The readings for this Sunday encourage us to live our earthly life to the fullest by choosing whatever God wants us to do so we won’t have regrets in the end.

Point #1 Make the best of your time. We won’t be given a hundred days to go back to earth when we die, like the woman, so that we can fix our mistakes.

Human as we are, we possess certain limitations and shortcomings.

Nevertheless, every single day of our temporary, earthly lives is a lot of chances to work for what is right and good and obey the Will of God. As the gardener in the Gospel would explain to the landowner about unfruitful fig tree, “Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it.

If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down” (Luke 13:8-9). Every time we wake up in the morning, we are given another chance to improve our lives and the grace to change for the better.

Point #2 Regret nothing for being good. Many of our past experiences would tell us that regrets always come in the end. The problem for most of us is that we already know what we should be doing, but we still choose not to do it. St. Paul, in the Second Reading, would look at the past events as a warning. He said, “These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall” (1 Cor. 10:11-12).

We tend to blame ourselves and other people for the consequences of our actions which we could have had avoided. Lucas Scott, one of the characters from the TV show One Tree Hill said, “…our biggest regrets are not for the wrong things we did—but, for the things we didn’t do.”

Point #3 Be positive on God’s Will. My father would ask me to memorize a part of the mathematical multiplication table every day when I was in Elementary.

Honestly, I felt reluctant about it but I knew my father only wanted to make mathematics easier for me. As a matter of fact, I benefited from that experience until now. From the very beginning, God has desired to bring us salvation. In the First Reading, the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land” (Exodus 3:7-8). In the succeeding passages, Moses would encounter a lot of challenges to convince the people about God’s love for them and His earnest desire to save them. There are times that we struggle to follow the commandments of God. They seem to be either impossible to fulfill or incongruent with what we want to do. Nonetheless, no matter how unclear it may appear to us, still let us be positive on God who wishes us to be good and saved all the time. We can trust that He knows what is best for us.

As we come to the Third Week of Lent, it is timely to ask ourselves: 1) What attitudes do I have that are not pleasing to God? 2) What good things should I do to make up for my mistakes? 3) What activities have I been doing that might harm or endanger my life in the end?