In this weekend’s Gospel Jesus tells the parable of a fig tree. He tells this story to let people know that God is kind and merciful. In this gospel, a fig tree is given another chance to bear fruit. The fig tree story tells us that God is always willing to forgive us and give us another chance.
In the story of the fig tree Jesus stresses how important it is for us to return to the One who gives us life. Jesus calls us to repent and turn back to God. lt offers encouragement. We are given another chance to bring about goodness.
Questions for Deeper Reflection
- Why does Jesus want us to know that God is kind and merciful?
- Do you think of God as being kind and forgiving?
- Why is it important to ask for forgiveness?
Along with St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Scholastica, Saint Gemma Galgani has also been commonly invoked as a patron saint for students around the world for many decades. The reason for this is because Gemma was a very conscientious student who worked very diligently at her studies.
Although a good student, her chronic illness (developed as a young child) prevented her from continuing her studies, and she was forced to leave school. Instead, she remained at home and taught and cared for her sisters and brothers.
But why read these boring words when you can look at a comic book about her life! Click on the links below:
Saint Gemma Galgani's Prayer
O my crucified God, behold me at Your feet; do not cast me out, now that I appear before You as a sinner. I have offended You exceedingly in the past, my Jesus, but it shall be so no longer.
Before You, O Lord, I place all my sins; I have now considered Your own sufferings and see how great is the worth of that Precious Blood that flows from Your veins.
O my God, at this hour close Your eyes to my want of merit, and since You have been pleased to die for my sins, grant me forgiveness for them all, that I may no longer feel the burden of my sins, for this burden, Dear Jesus, oppresses me beyond measure.
Assist me, my Jesus, for I desire to become good whatsoever it may cost; take away, destroy, utterly root out all that You find in me contrary to Your holy will. At the same time, I pray You, Lord Jesus, to enlighten me that I may be able to walk in Your holy light. Amen.
Explore Being Catholic: Activity Calendar for the Upcoming Third Week of Lent
Sometime during the next week or so, attend one of the Lenten services at your parish such as the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation every Tuesday from 5:00-7:00pm. Or, someone leads the Stations of the Cross every Monday evening at 6:00. Be sure to talk together about the service you attend together.