There is a persistent call in all of us to make better the lives of every person we meet along the path of our own life. This is the only path towards a life of meaning and fulfilment. We should live a life that has a transforming impact of the life of others around us. We are perhaps not called like Moses to lead a nation out of slavery but we can when we accept this call to lead those whom God has placed in our life into the freedom of his transforming presence.
The inability to see and feel the Divine in everyday life is a form of modern time slavery. The pursuit of worldly happiness is the unquenchable thirst of the secular desert. The promises that material comfort will fulfil are mirages that confuse our spiritual eyes. We are left in the sweltering heat when we cannot find inner peace amidst external turmoil. This is the slavery that we are called to lead one another out of; this call a “burning bush” that is found everywhere dotting our spiritual path.
Typically this call comes from deep within us. It is always affirming and empowering, reassuring that we can do this. Typically we meet this call stammering and stuttering, suppressing a “yes” because we do not feel qualified to lead anyone out of slavery, whichever its form. Typically we ignore the reassurance, finding it difficult to get out of our comfort zone to do what we are not used to doing, away from our set routine methods of living. We are unable to comprehend who God want us to become.
Yet the bush will remain burning in front of us until we become spiritually tuned into it. They are first, markers on a path, if followed, gradually becoming milestones on a grand spiritual journey. We must take the first step away from secular distractions to put ourselves into a more spiritual environment where it is easier to hear this call. Today’s second reading speak of an unfulfilled life if we constantly do things ignoring the presence of Christ.
In each of us there is a tiny seed that can grow into a large tree giving shelter to everyone on our path. Yes, we can grow that big. This is a call to make that difference simply through actions of love and faith by doing things in Christ-like ways. But it can all only begin with a small, simple “yes” to accept God’s calling to use us as his instruments, first by trusting his reassurance and accepting his affirmation and empowerment. He can only qualify us when we mutter our little “yes”.
Our burning bush is seen in our daily life, nothing too dramatic at all. Very often it appears in a simple form, a call to love, to get more involved in works of mercy or in parish ministries. But these can already be quite challenging for those whose life is not in a spiritual environment. Yet it represents a first step to take that can lead us out of our spiritual desert. And it has the potential to grow us into a large tree giving shade and comfort to all those around us, sharing our path in life.
Christ waits patiently to fulfil each of us. He waits for each of our little “yes”, year after year. “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.”’ (Today’s Gospel). Lent is a good time to acknowledge, that yes, we can impact the lives of others. Our little “yes” is the manure Christ the gardener need to grow us into trees.
3rd Sunday of Lent