Liturgy of the Sunday

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Third Sunday of Lent
Memorial of Oscar Arnulfo Romero, archbishop of San Salvador, a martyr. He was killed on March 24, 1980 on the altar. Memorial of the massacre of the Fosse Ardeatine that took place in Rome in 1944, in which the Nazis killed 335 people.

First Reading

Exodus 3,1-8.13-15

Moses was looking after the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led it to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of Yahweh appeared to him in a flame blazing from the middle of a bush. Moses looked; there was the bush blazing, but the bush was not being burnt up. Moses said, 'I must go across and see this strange sight, and why the bush is not being burnt up.' When Yahweh saw him going across to look, God called to him from the middle of the bush. 'Moses, Moses!' he said. 'Here I am,' he answered. 'Come no nearer,' he said. 'Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I am the God of your ancestors,' he said, 'the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.' At this Moses covered his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Yahweh then said, 'I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying for help on account of their taskmasters. Yes, I am well aware of their sufferings. And I have come down to rescue them from the clutches of the Egyptians and bring them up out of that country, to a country rich and broad, to a country flowing with milk and honey, to the home of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites. Moses then said to God, 'Look, if I go to the Israelites and say to them, "The God of your ancestors has sent me to you," and they say to me, "What is his name?" what am I to tell them?' God said to Moses, 'I am he who is.' And he said, 'This is what you are to say to the Israelites, "I am has sent me to you." ' God further said to Moses, 'You are to tell the Israelites, "Yahweh, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you." This is my name for all time, and thus I am to be invoked for all generations to come.


Psalm 102


The tenderness of the Lord is as great as the heavens.

My soul, give thanks to the Lord,
all my being, bless his holy name.

My soul, give thanks to the Lord
and never forget all his blessings.

It is he who forgives all your guilt,
who heals every one of your ills,

who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with love and compassion,

who fills your life with good things,
renewing your youth like an eagle's.

The Lord does deeds of justice,
gives judgement for all who are oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses
and his deeds to Israel's sons.

The Lord is compassion and love,
slow to anger and rich in mercy.

His wrath will come to an end;
he will not be angry for ever.

He does not treat us according to our sins
nor repay us according to our faults.

For as the heavens are high above the earth
so strong is his love for those who fear him .

As far as the east is from the west
so far does he remove our sins.

As a father has compassion on his sons,
the Lord has pity on those who fear him;

for he knows of what we are made,
he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass;
he flowers like the flower of the field;

the wind blows and he is gone
and his place never sees him again.

But the love of the Lord is everlasting
upon those who hold him in fear;

his justice reaches out to children's children
when they keep his covenant in truth,
when they keep his will in their mind.

The Lord has set his sway in heaven
and his kingdom is ruling over all.

Give thanks to the Lord, all his angels,
mighty in power, fulfilling his word,
who heed the voice of his word.

Give thanks to the Lord, all his hosts,
his servants who do his will.

Give thanks to the Lord, all his works,
in every place where he rules.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord!

Second Reading

1 Corinthians 10,1-6.10-12

I want you to be quite certain, brothers, that our ancestors all had the cloud over them and all passed through the sea. In the cloud and in the sea they were all baptised into Moses; all ate the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink, since they drank from the spiritual rock which followed them, and that rock was Christ. In spite of this, God was not pleased with most of them, and their corpses were scattered over the desert. Now these happenings were examples, for our benefit, so that we should never set our hearts, as they did, on evil things; Never complain; some of them complained, and they were killed by the Destroyer. Now all these things happened to them by way of example, and they were described in writing to be a lesson for us, to whom it has fallen to live in the last days of the ages. Everyone, no matter how firmly he thinks he is standing, must be careful he does not fall.

Reading of the Gospel

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Luke 13,1-9

It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, 'Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than any others, that this should have happened to them? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell, killing them all? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.' He told this parable, 'A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to his vinedresser, "For three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?" "Sir," the man replied, "leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down." '


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory


This Sunday's liturgy opens with the story of Moses' experience on Mount Horeb. There "the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush." It was a fire that burned but did not consume. So it is with the Word of God: it burns our life but does not destroy it: it upsets us but does not annihilate us.
And the Lord said to him, "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..." Moses found himself in front of a bush of love, a fire that wanted to liberate the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. And the Lord, who was burning with love for his people, asked Moses to help him. On Horeb, God revealed himself to Moses as a God who is close and who accompanies, without ever abandoning. The definition that God gave of himself on Horeb culminates in Jesus: Jesus is the definitive burning bush: "I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!" (Lk 12:49). He is the one who said to his disciples, "I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20).
This Gospel passage presents Jesus to us as someone who acts towards his people as the gardener does towards his master in order to save a fig tree. This tree has not produced fruit for many years and the owner, indignant, wants to cut it down. The gardener insists that the owner wait a little longer. His plea reaches the owner's heart and convinces him. With this parable, Jesus is trying to describe our lives, which are often fruitless. But they are saved by the mercy of Jesus, who has taken on the responsibility of defending each one of us. He asks us, however, to let our hearts be touched. And Lent is the opportune time to let our hearts be touched by the Gospel