Readings for this Sunday:
Isaiah 55:1-9 • Psalm 63:1-8 • 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 • Luke 13:1-9
This is the third Sunday of Lent. This season, we're exploring the relationship between our own self-awareness and salvation. This Sunday asks us about the sources of courage or faith that enable us to look deeply and to change.
- The Hebrew Scriptures, against all religious expectations, include what most of us would call the problem—the negative, the accidental, the sinful—as the precise arena for diving revelation. Likewise, Jesus showed us that self-criticism of our own religion is necessary. How have you seen contradiction lead to getting where or what we need?
- Think about your own life, or the life of someone you love, in relationship to this story of the gardener and the fig tree: What needs special tending? What will cultivate the “soil” of daily life so that new growth, new possibilities, might emerge?
Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.
― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart.
― C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.
― Marie Curie
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
― Eleanor Roosevelt
It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are still alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger for them.
― George Eliot
Beyond its practical aspects, gardening - be it of the soil or soul - can lead us on a philosophical and spiritual exploration that is nothing less than a journey into the depths of our own sacredness and the sacredness of all beings.
― Christopher Forrest McDowell, 20th century
You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need.
― Mick Jagger
You have made us for yourself, O God, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in you.
― Augustine of Hippo, Confessions, 5th century
I wonder how much of the day I spend just callin' after you.
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 20th century