Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF - Claretian Publications Philippines - Victoria Sanchez - Teacher in Madrid

Responding to Grace


Moses encounters God on Mount Horeb and receives a task to fulfil. Reminding Corinthians of the failure of Israelites to respond to God’s grace, Paul warns them to be more responsive. Jesus speaks of the need to bear fruit, giving the parable of the fig tree.


What exactly was a fig tree doing in a vineyard? And, what would a stammering murderer Moses do in Egypt for the people of God? There might be times you look at your life and wonder why on earth you are where you are, and feel like a square peg in a round hole. Doesn’t matter. If the Lord of Life—I Am Who Am—has planted you where you are, He has given you the grace to fulfill your life’s mission. A fig tree does not need much manure, but the gardener is gracious enough to provide extra care. Our task is to respond to grace and be fruitful. As Paul reminds the Romans, God’s kindness is intended to lead us to fruits of repentance (cf. Rom. 2:4).


Pray for the grace to produce the fruit(s) of the Spirit (cf. Gal. 5: 22-23).


What is your life’s Mission? Draw up one, listening to God’s voice.


                          "Unless you repent you will all perish".

From this Sunday of Lent onwards the Word of God openly focuses on the theme of penance of conversion. When we speak of penance or conversion, we emphasise a change of mind, a change of heart. This is very important, but it is also necessary, in addition to the inner, the outer. The word penance causes discomfort, perhaps because we distort the meaning of this word, or our imagination works too much.

The fact that we have been given time to convert frees us from having to try.  Only in God's way will we be able to free ourselves from all that we have. In this time of penance it would be very appropriate that we attend the acts of worship that help us to have a more personal contact with God, pray as a family, live in community and with a missionary sense, go to mass, receive communion, read the Word of God, pray, to know ourselves better, and to commit ourselves more. 

The sacrament of reconciliation, where God reconciles us with himself and with our brothers and sisters, is an extraordinary practice of penance, which gives us great graces, because it is where God shows us his great mercy towards us.

Lent comes to awaken us from lethargy, from moving forward by inertia. It reminds us that we can do something new in ourselves and in our surroundings thanks to the goodness and mercy of God, who is always ready to forgive. (Pope Francis).

Prayer: Lord, may we know our helplessness better each day, so that we may accept your mercy.

(Psalm 102) The Lord is compassionate and merciful. 



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