God the Father sent his son, lived thirty years of silent life, three years did the public ministry. Then he suffered, crucified, died and resurrected. This Sunday we celebrate Ascension Sunday!
The second reading for Ascension is from the book of Hebrews. We read, “Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf.” It also says that the high priest entered the sanctuary to offer the sacrifice of himself to the Father for all eternity. Ascension is the climax of the pascal mystery.
If we look at the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, it looks like a continuation of the Gospel. Luck is the author of Gospel and Acts of the Apostles. In the Gospel, Jesus gives the final parting message to his disciples. Jesus told them that he is going to suffer, die and on the third day resurrect. And also Jesus told Apostles that they are going to be the witnesses, so they should preach the repentance and forgiveness of sin to the world.
What we do if we hear something like that? We may say to each other, hi we need a plan. Jesus told them, don’t go anywhere, but stay in town until they receive the Holy Spirit. In the Act of the Apostles Luck repeats that they should wait in Jerusalem until they receive in the Holy Spirit. Sixth Sunday of Easter, we read in the Gospel, if we love Jesus, we are asked to keep his word. Jesus was telling them, in his parting message, they cannot do any of these thing their own, but with the help of the Holy Spirit. At the Ascension, Jesus left a mission for the Apostles. Today it is our mission. We received the Holy Spirit through the Sacrament of the Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. But we keep to keep asking every day of our life.
I was listening to Jeff Cavins’s message for Ascension. He presented seven points for Ascension of our Lord; seven points for the basic proclamation of the Gospel. I would like to share with you those seven points. Jeff Cavins invites us to personalize these messages and make it our own.
1. God loves you and he has a wonderful plan for your life.
2. Sin interrupted that plan.
3. Good News: God sent his Son, and he died for us. It is the solution.
4. Now we are called to repent and believe the Gospel.
5. Be baptized: wipe away the original sin and brings us into the body of Christ and gives us the three theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.
6. We are called to untie ourselves with the body of Christ in an active way: that is the way we really discover all the sources grace in our life.
7. We are called now to make disciples ourselves to go and tell people about Jesus.
Reflecting on these points, let us challenge ourselves, prepare to celebrate Pentecost. Jesus reminds us on the Sunday of Ascension that we are not able to do by ourselves, but with the help of the Holy Spirit.
The story is told that after Helen Keller’s teacher, Annie Sullivan, had given her the names of physical objects in sign language, Miss Sullivan attempted to explain God and tapped out the symbols for the name "God." Much to Miss Sullivan’s surprise, Helen spelled back, "Thank you for telling me God’s name, Teacher, for He has touched me many times before." How could Helen Keller have known about God? Although she was blind and deaf, Helen Keller knew God, for God had shown Himself to her. That is “revelation” of an indwelling God about whom today’s Scripture readings speak.
Easter season readings prepare us to celebrate Ascension of the Lord and Pentecost. Each weekend reading from the Acts of the Apostles give us a glimpse of the life of the early Church. The members of the early Christian communities were from Jews and gentiles. The first reading, tells us the great internal struggle of the Early Church and how the Holy Spirit indwelling in the Church helped the apostles to solve a major doctrinal problem about the Gentiles becoming Christians, which shook the very foundation of the early Church. The ancient Jews had a particular culture that the first Christians realized was not their culture.
The Gospel passage reminds us that the Holy Spirit, abiding within us, is our teacher and the source of all peace. The passage offers a vision of hope. The gospel passage tells us about love and his indwelling presence. One thing we know about love is that lovers want to be with each other. But Jesus is not physically present. We cannot physically see him or touch him. How can you love an absent Jesus? This is what today’s gospel is all about. In the gospel Jesus prepares his disciples, those who love him, for his departure from this world and shows them how they can keep love and intimacy alive even in his physical absence. Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
Jesus promises his followers that the Holy Spirit will come and instruct them in everything they need to know. In the first reading Apostles and other leaders were struggling to make decision. We see the Holy Spirit guiding them in that decision making. We read, “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden…” Let us invite the Holy Spirit in our daily life, to our joys and sorrows; our strengths and weakness. Jesus told Apostles, and today to us, “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”
This weekend we also celebrate Memorial Day. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. Let us hold them in our prayers. At the same time let us remember all those who are serving to keep us safe.
Happy Memorial Day!!
First of all, I take this opportunity to congratulate our senior graduates and their families. Our prayers are with you in future plans.
Graduation! How exciting? I am sure seniors are full of dreams and plans for the future. Parents, teachers, and family will look at you with a question: what is next? What are you going to study? What do you want to become? Some of you are already decided, some of you are not sure yet.
Today we gather to honor your success and celebrate the Lord’s gift, the bread and wine, the Eucharist, which means thanksgiving. The gift of the Lord, the Body and Blood of Christ that we receive is the greatest gift possible. It is His sacrifice on the Cross made real in the Eucharist for us to eat and be nourished with. It is the source of our life.
A little Johnny asked his dad, “What is love?” Dad replied, “Love is giving away your life for someone.” Often we sing a beautiful hymn at the Mass, called, “They’ll know We Are Christians by Our Love.” Next time when we sign give special attention to those words. It is beautiful and profound.
Today’s readings are about LOVE. It talks about new things: the New Jerusalem, a new heaven and earth, and a new commandment. It’s all about new identity of Christian life. They use uniforms, habits, badges, banners and pinups designed to distinguish different groups and believers. We are symbolic beings who need to express our faith in symbolic ways.
The Gospel for the weekend is so profound. At the Last Supper, Jesus is sitting at the table, Judas has just left to betray him. The next thing Jesus says, which is the first part of the Gospel today, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.” He is going to be arrested, nailed to the Cross and put to death. How can Jesus say the Son of Man is glorified? Then Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
I think Jesus was saying he is going to take the pain and suffering of the Cross for you, so we will know his love. I thought little Johnny’s dad shared a profound thought: “Love is giving away your life for someone.” Through Jesus passion, death and resurrection, we will be able to acquire the ability to give away our life for someone.
“Love others as I have loved you” (John 13: 35). Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. Love is the Christian identity. Love is the Christian uniform. Love is the Christian habit.
We live in a world that denies our basic human worth. How do we reclaim our basic worth? We can become whole and holy only when we learn to love ourselves properly, acknowledging the presence of the triune God in our souls, making our bodies the “temple of the Holy Spirit.” It is through constant love-centered interaction with God and each other that the "new earth, the new heaven and the new Jerusalem" can begin to come into existence. It is not going happen one day, but it is a journey….
Happy Mother’s Day! There is a beautiful Spanish proverb: "An ounce of mother is better than a pound of clergy." On Mother’s Day let us Christians, acknowledge the truth that we have two mothers: our earthly mother and our heavenly mother, Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Catholic Church proclaims the great nobility of the mother of Jesus, Mary most holy, and presents her as the supreme model for all mothers. She was born into humble surroundings, she was called by God to be the mother of the Son of God. She affirmed her obedience to the call of God and lived out her vocation throughout her entire life. Mary, the mother of Jesus, our Blessed Mother, is the true model of motherhood.
The fourth Sunday of Easter is known as Good Shepherd Sunday and it is the “World Day of Prayer for Vocations.” The vocations rooted in families. Moms have a special role in the life of children, their sacrifices and love influence their life. The scripture lessons for this weekend is about the role of the shepherd.
In his book, The Holy Land, John Kellman describes a field pen. It consists of a circular stonewall about four feet high with an opening in it. Kellman says that one-day a Holy Land tourist saw a field pen near Hebron. He asked a shepherd sitting nearby, “where’s the gate for your pen?” The shepherd said, “I am the gate.”
The shepherd then told the tourist how he herded his flock into the pen each night. Then he lay down across the narrow entrance. No sheep could leave the pen, and no wild animal could enter it, without stepping on his body.
Jesus is our shepherd, who lay down his life for us, to give us new life and He is with us. He broke the bread and said to his disciples, this is My Body, take and eat it. Jesus tells us the same, “This is My Body.” Like Apostles, we are also fed at this table and send out to break us and give to others.
This Sunday our young women and men receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Apostles received Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It was life-changing for them. They received the gift of the Holy Spirit. What are they? There are seven of them: 1. Wisdom which helps to understand things from God’s point of view; 2. Understanding which helps us to understand the deeper meaning of supernatural truth; 3. Knowledge helps us to appreciate the life God has given: begin to see God’s presence in people, things, and nature and treat them with proper dignity; 4. Right Judgement or Counsel which helps to make the right decision God would want me to make; 5. Reverence or Piety which helps to trust God more, the relationship becomes stronger; 6. Courage or Fortitude which helps to stand up for what I believe; 7. Fear of the Lord or Awe and Wonder which helps to stay on the right path to heaven. Fear of the Lord is because I love God and I want to please Him.
Let us join in prayer for our young people, those who are receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, may God pour the gift of the Holy Spirit, and so they may come out of the Upper Room and reach out in mission to others. Let us pray that with our Confirmands, their sponsors, families and our entire cluster will be renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Spring is here, it is nice to get out, enjoy the nature, soon leaves and flowers will appear on plants, it is beautiful. The same way we are done with winter of Lenten season and celebrated Easter and continue to celebrate. We are in a new spirit of Easter Season. Easter is all about God’s love and mercy. Time to time God revealed his love of mercy to humanity. Ultimately, this revelation through Jesus. God continues to send us the message of mercy though Saints. Especially through our Mother, through her apparitions, St. Maximillian Kolbe, St. Faustina and St. Pope John Paul II. During the Papacy of St. John Paul II, he announced that it is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on the Second Sunday of Easter, which throughout the Church, will be called 'Divine Mercy Sunday. Now Pope Francis continues to emphasis the message of mercy and teach us.
St. Faustina of Poland is the well-known apostle of Divine Mercy. On the 30th of April, 2000, the Second Sunday of Easter, St. Pope John Paul II celebrated the Eucharist in Saint Peter’s Square and proceeded to the canonization of Blessed Sister Faustina. The St. Faustina invites us by the witness of her life to keep our faith and hope fixed on God, the Father, rich in mercy, who has saved us by the precious blood of His Son. The Lord Jesus assigned St. Faustina three basic tasks during her short life: 1. to pray for souls, entrusting them to God's incomprehensible Mercy; 2. to tell the world about God's generous mercy; 3. to start a new movement in the Church focusing on God's Mercy. “The Lord of Divine Mercy” a drawing of Jesus based on the vision given to St. Faustina, shows Jesus raising his right hand in a gesture of blessing, with his left hand on his chest from which gush forth two rays, one red and one white. The picture contains the message "Jesus, I trust in You". The rays streaming out have symbolic meaning: red for the blood of Jesus, which is the life of souls and white for the water which justifies souls. The whole image is symbolic of the mercy, forgiveness, and love of God. The divine mercy chaplet, the novena starts on Good Friday to Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday. Divine Mercy celebration invites us to receive God’s mercy and at the same time to share one another. Our Lord said to St. Faustina, "Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy. I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it"
Pope Francis continues the message of Mercy. During the year of mercy, Pope Francis said in one of his homilies, “Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought about how the Church might make clear its mission of being a witness to mercy. It is a journey that begins with a spiritual conversion.”
Today, five of our children make their First Communion. They prepared by learning and receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to receive First Communion, to experience God’s love and Mercy first time by the reception of the Eucharist. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them, their families and teachers, for their sacrifices and preparation.
Also, our Cluster will celebrate at Immaculate Conception Church on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. It includes Adoration, Divine Mercy Chaplet and sacrament of reconciliation is available.
A couple of years ago, I had the privilege to visit the Holy Land. One of the most powerful moments was visiting the Church of Holy Sepulcher. In this Church, we can see the place where Jesus was crucified, “Golgotha” and next to it a small church within the church which is the Tomb of Christ. It was not just Church of Tomb, but also of was Church of Resurrection. We read in the Bible, it was a garden. A beautiful morning, a joy filled morning a group of people, some of them surprised, others confused, still others running to tell others “He is risen”.
There is a story of Joseph of Arimathea. He was a very wealthy Pharisee, a member of the council, and a secret follower of Jesus. It was Joseph who went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body after the crucifixion. And it was Joseph who supplied the tomb for Jesus’ burial. I wonder if someone pulled him aside and said, "Joseph that was such beautiful, costly, hand-hewn tomb. Why on earth did you give it to someone to be buried in?" "Why not?" Joseph may have answered. He only needed it for the weekend."
After the Last Supper, Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane, then journeyed to Calvary. We were living these moments the last few days. On Good Friday we make three stops and sing with the Cross, “Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the salvation of the world.” And we come up to venerate the cross that brought us salvation. We come up to give their burdens to the One who hung on the cross for them.
At Easter Vigil, a large candle is brought into the darkened church. Its light illuminates the church. This time we sing, “The Light of Christ,” and respond, “Thanks be to God.” The One who hung upon the cross has brought light to a world of suffering in its own darkness. The heat of the flame confirms our hope that the transformation of Lenten winter into Easter spring time.
Inserted in the candle are five wax nails that signify the wounds that the crucified Jesus received in his hands, feet, and side. These nails are the symbol of great love. These symbols reminds us that God is with us in our hurts, grief, that God’s spirit of compassion is in our midst, in our love and concern for one another, and transforms hurt into healing.
The paschal candle will remain lit throughout the Easter season. It will then be given a place of honor near the baptismal font. During the year it will be lit at the celebration of baptism and funerals. By its light we welcome those who are reborn in the waters of baptism, and funerals by its light we commend to God the souls of those who will go before us in peace to the eternal dwelling place of our Father.
St. Agustin says Jesus departed from our sight, that we might return to our hearts and there find Him. He is Risen!! He is alive in our hearts. Let the Paschal candle brighten our hearts and minds. May the Risen Christ dwell in our hearts, families, community and bless us with His love, forgiveness and healing this Easter and always. I wish you all a Happy Easter!!
Max Lucado, in his book, And the Angels were Silent, reminds us that each of us has got a donkey that the Lord needs. He writes: Sometimes I get the impression that God wants me to give him something and sometimes I don't give it because I don't know for sure, and then I feel bad because I've missed my chance. Other times I know he wants something but I don't give it because I'm too selfish. And other times, too few times, I hear him and I obey him and feel honored that a gift of mine would be used to carry Jesus to another place. And still other times I wonder if my little deeds today will make a difference in the long haul.
We are towards the end of the Lenten journey. A question to ask ourselves, how is it going? The Church celebrates today as both Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday and we enter into the Holy Week, and welcome Jesus into our lives, asking him to allow us a share in his suffering, death, and resurrection. In order to receive a new life, there is need of death to happen, the death of our selfishness.
On Holy Thursday there is a Chrism Mass in Cathedral Churches because it is a solemn observance of Christ's institution of the Eucharist and priesthood. In order to make the opportunity for most priests and laity to attend this Mass, the Diocese may celebrate prior to the holy week, as we celebrated in our diocese. At this 'Chrism Mass,' the bishop blesses the Oil of Chrism used for Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination, and Anointing of the Sick.
The Holy Thursday liturgy in the parish communities, celebrated in the evening because Passover began at sundown. Washing of the feet takes place in this Mass. Food brought for the poor will be brought at the offertory. After the Holy Thursday evening Mass, the Blessed Sacrament carried in solemn procession to the flower-bedecked Altar of Repose, where it will remain 'entombed' until the communion service on Good Friday. And finally, there is the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament by the people during the night, just as the disciples stayed with the Lord during His agony on the Mount of Olives before the betrayal by Judas. No Mass will be celebrated again in the Church until the Easter Vigil proclaims the Resurrection.
Holy Week can become "holy” for us only if we actively and consciously take part in the liturgies of this week. Holy Thursday institution of Eucharist Jesus said to his disciples, “This is my body broken for you; this is my blood and shed for you” and we see on Good Friday that sacrifice is completed on the cross. He broke himself for us and fed us. This is also the week when we should lighten the burden of Christ’s passion as daily experienced by the needy people through our corporal and spiritual works of mercy; break and share.
As the Church enters into the week before Jesus' Passion and death, Pope Francis writes in his Holy Week message, Jesus is present "in our many brothers and sisters who today endure sufferings like his own: they suffer from slave labor, from family tragedies, from diseases." At the end of every Mass we hear that “Go Forth, the Mass is ended.” We are commissioned and send out to meet those brothers and sisters in need. In other words, to do the washing of the feet in our daily life. Happy and fruitful Holy Week!
While Mother Teresa is certainly famous for the charity with which she poured herself out in love for Christ in the distressing disguise of lepers, AIDS victims, the dying, and the untouchables, she was likewise a great “Missionary of Mercy” in calling everyone to receive Jesus’ forgiving love in the Sacrament of Confession, a Sacrament she received at least once a week. She would counsel others, “One thing is necessary for us: Confession. Confession is nothing but humility in action. We call it Penance, but really it is a Sacrament of Love, a Sacrament of forgiveness. It is a place where I allow Jesus to take away from me everything that divides, that destroys. A confession is a beautiful act of great love. Only in confession can we go in as sinners with sin and come out as sinners without sin. … There’s no need for us to despair, no need for us to commit suicide, no need for us to be discouraged if we have understood the tenderness of God’s love.” She said elsewhere, very simply, “Confession is Jesus and me, and nobody else.” And then she told us, “Remember this for life.”
Lent invites us to reflect on God’s unconditional love and mercy for humanity. Last week we meditated on the parable of the prodigal son. Read the Gospel for this weekend, Close your eyes for a moment and see this story like a movie. The scribes and the Pharisees were constantly looking for something so they can trap Jesus. All of sudden, they found an adulterous woman. While Jesus was teaching, they brought this woman and threw her in front of Jesus. They thought they got him. Jesus has to oppose the law or agree that she should die. They thought his hands were tied. There was a moment of silence. We read in the Gospel that Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. The silence might have great power. Finally, He spoke, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
What a profound scene? Jesus was not promoting adultery. He was not teaching against marriage. They are no question that adultery is a sin. It violates the Ten Commandments, destroys marital covenant, destroys families, you name it, then how come Jesus tells her, go and sin no more. Jesus has something profound message for us. We see in the Gospel, that He continued writing on the ground. The scribes and the Pharisees left one by one. In a way, they were accepting their sinfulness. Then Jesus looked at the woman, and asked her “has no one condemned you?”, so neither I condemn you, now go, do not sin no more.
Jesus came to find the lost one. The woman caught in adultery didn’t leave the scene with shame, but with new spirit and dignity. How many of us might have stood in the position of Jesus, but did we give life and dignity to the person who was in front of us or send him/her with shame? On the other hand, how many of us might be ashamed of ourselves. Did we go to Jesus to get forgiveness and return with dignity?
Traditionally it is said that this woman was Mary Magdalene. She became a close follower of Jesus and she was first to the experience of the Resurrection. What is my/your personal experience with Jesus? Let us pray for the courage and humility to receive unconditional love from Jesus. Jesus gave us Sacraments thought his passion, death, and resurrection. During Lenten season he invites us to receive the sacrament of reconciliation and to prepare ourselves to celebrate the Holy Week.
The fourth Sunday of Lent, traditionally is called Laetare Sunday (Rejoice Sunday). This week each of the three readings characterizes one of the many facets of Easter joy. In many ways, we have been dead, but through God’s grace we have come to life again; we have been lost, but have now been found. We have every reason to rejoice.
This Sunday we have the parable of the Prodigal Son. The parable of the prodigal son is called "the greatest short story in the world" (Charles Dickens), "the gospel of the gospels", “the gospel of the outcasts," and the "parable of the prodigal father." The prodigal father takes home the returning son and gives him new clothes, ring, sandals so on. It is an expression of acceptance, love, and forgiveness.
When the elder brother came from the field, he refused to come in because of the broken relationship. What did the father do? The father went out to the elder son and begged him to be reconciled with his younger brother and to share in his joy. He assured the elder son of his continuing love and of the son’s secure inheritance and place in the family by saying, “All I have is yours.”
Look at that Father and Son encounter. So much warmness is there. One side a father, who is waiting on an everyday basis to see his son, is coming back. On the other hand a son who ran away realizes his mistake and coming back in confidence of his father’s love and forgiveness. Rembrandt's return of the prodigal is masterpiece work. If we take a closer look at his work, we can see that the father emprise his son. His two alms are two different sizes. It represents one mother’s arm (gentleness) and the other represents the father’s arm (strong). This father was waiting for his son, holding so much love in his heart.
The context of this parable, Pharisees, and scribes, who kept the commandments and served, but Jesus was showing mercy and sharing with everyone. They couldn’t accept it, they criticized Jesus for his mercy towards sinners. Look at the elder son, he served his father and obeyed, now he is not happy with his father, because he took his prodigal son in.
In the gospel, the joy is that of a young son’s “coming home”. It is a precious moment. Lent is all about coming to that precious moment: an encounter with God. It is precious, emotional. We have all the reasons to rejoice in the middle of the Lenten season. I suppose we all are making a wonderful journey in this lent. And let us help someone else make that journey of Lent. We have a wonderful, loving and caring God the Father. A father who runs to the son who went away, at the same time we have the father going to the older son and want to invite him to the feast. In a way both of them are still in learning the true love of the father. In this lent let us pause and look at the face of Jesus and learn the love of the father expressed for each one of us.
There is a story of how King Frederick II, an Eighteenth-Century King of Prussia, was visiting a prison in Berlin. He was going from inmate to inmate, and every one of them was trying to prove how they had been unjustly imprisoned. They all proclaimed their innocence, except one. That one prisoner was sitting quietly in a corner, while all the rest protested their innocence. Seeing him sitting there oblivious to everything else that was going on, the King walked over to him and said, "Son, why are you in here?" He said, "Armed robbery, your Honor," The King said, "Are you guilty?" He said, "Sire, I am guilty, and I deserve to be here." The King then gave an order to the guard and said, "Release this guilty man, I do not want this man corrupting all these other innocent people."
This weekend in a way all of the reading talks about exodus. The first reading tells us how God shows His mercy to His chosen people by selecting Moses as their leader and liberator. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob reveals Himself to Moses from the burning bush and assures Moses of His divine presence with His people and of His awareness of their sufferings in Egypt. God prepares Moses for the exodus, Israelites liberation from slavery to freedom.
In the second reading Paul retelling the exodus story. He said, our ancestors walked through the sea, they ate spiritual food, drank spiritual drink, but in most of them God does not pleased. They were given so much, but they threw it away.
In today’s Gospel, citing two tragic events, Jesus exhorts the Jews to repent and reform their lives. Eighteen people were killed when a tower in Siloam fell on them. A large number of people from Galilee, we don’t know how many, were killed by Pilate’s soldiers during a temple service. All had plans for their lives. All of their lives came to a sudden end with their plans unfulfilled.
Jesus told them those people faced these tragedies not because they were worse than others. Jesus uses two local tragedies to teach them and now us about our need for repentance and a renewal of life. The farmer has a fig tree and it didn’t give any fruit for three years. Jesus was going to cut it down, but the gardener convinced him to give one more year. If at the end of another year, it still hasn’t accomplished its purpose, then it will be cut down.
Today, during this lent, Jesus reminds us to look at our life. He gave everything for Israelites in their journey from slavery to freedom. Jesus, through his new exodus, passion death and resurrection, he gave himself for our journey to freedom. He gave us scripture, gave us sacraments, especially Eucharist. He has given us lot, but are we ready to receive. The burning bush was bursting with fruit of Divine presence. On the other hand, the fig tree in full is barren. Which one of the tree we want to be. Our God is a merciful God who always invites to receive his mercy. He wants us to become the burning bush, and burst with fruits of Divine presence. During this lent, let us grow in our relationship with God and help one another in this journey.