Today is the Third Sunday of Lent. “Why do bad things happen to people?” This is the question on the lips of the people addressing Jesus in the Gospel today (Luke 13:1-9). Jesus answers by rejecting the traditional belief that all disasters are a punishment of God. Jesus does not think of God as an avenging God, one who goes about punishing his sons and daughters, handing out sickness, accidents, or misfortunes here and there in response to their sins. Jesus makes it clear that the God he believes in does not relate to people through the medium of disaster and accident. God wants people to turn to him and discover their true selves. Jesus tells his listeners that any experience of hardship should be a reminder to us of the need for conversion. Jesus goes on to tell the parable of the fig tree. The owner of the vineyard is expecting the fig tree to produce fruit. But he is disappointed again! “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none!” (Luke 13:7). The fig tree is a waste of space. It consumes but it does not produce. It is a parasite, a hanger-on and the owner has now run out of patience. The owner wants to cut it down. However the vinedresser plays the role of counsel for defence and pleads for a stay of execution. He promises to tend the fig tree himself but he does take the owner’s point that there is a time limit on the matter and he acknowledges that if the tree does not bear fruit the following year it should be cut down. BUT, perhaps the vinedresser argued the same argument last year and the year before. It is interesting that the vinedresser does not say that he will cut the tree down; he tells the owner that he can do it himself. God is a patient God who is willing to wait. God has all the time in the world, but we humans do not have that luxury. The psalm 90:4 speaks of the timelessness of God with the words: “For a thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” However time, by definition limits human action, and Jesus urges his hearers to use the time they have to repent. Barrenness is no boast for a tree which exists to bear fruit; sinfulness is no boast for a person who exists to be good. The tree has within it the seeds of its own fruit and the seeds of its own disintegration. Our growth comes from within. Jesus wants people to make the effort, with the time they have left to turn to God. “You never know what will happen tomorrow: you are no more than a mist that is here for a little while and then disappears” (James 4:14). Life is too short and eternity is too long to live it without God.
Feasts of the Week: Friday: The Annunciation of the Lord. Mary gives her consent to become the Mother of God. The Annunciation is the beginning of Jesus in his human nature. Through his mother He is a member of the human race. The prayers of Mass today focus on that theme. Emphasis is given to the reality of the incarnation rather than the day being centred only on the Mother of God.
Thanks for the collection last week. It came to £2010. We appreciate your kindness and generosity at our Novena collection also during these financially stringent times. Thanks also to our Ushers, Ministers of the Eucharist and Readers who gave of their time to serve the community who come to Mass here at the Graan. We are so thankful for your help.
The Shop: Open Mon to Sat: 9.30am – 7pm. Sun 9.30 – 4.30pm. Guild Mass Cards: Easter, Deceased, Mass Bouquets, Get Well, Wedding, New Baby, Thank You. Cost £2 / €2.50. We have a wide selection of confirmation and Holy Communion items as well as candles, statues, pictures & medals.
Friday Exposition continues each Friday from 10am – 2pm.
Duty Mass: Mon to Fri @ 7pm. Mon (21st March) @ 7pm – Arthur. (Confessions Tues to Fri 2pm – 5pm) Tues: Brian. Wed – Victor. Thurs Arthur. Fri – Anthony. Confessions Saturday 5 – 6pm. Sat – Anthony.
Fermanagh Aid for Ukraine: F M Metals of are sending a lorry to support the people of Ukraine. Collections points are at FM Metals 9 Lackaghboy Rd, Enniskillen. Drop of times 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Contact Frances for more info:079665145590 And Coa Community Hall, Mon to Fri between 6pm – 7pm. Sat: 10am – 4pm & Sun 10am to 12noon. Contact Tony 07752286128 .
Joe O’Neill & his wife Peggy (nee Miller), Monea
Malachy Mc Court, Co Tyrone
Peggy Mc Govern, Gubaveeney, Blacklion
Mary Mc Cann, Belleek
Dympna Blake, Tobermore Pk, Enniskillen
Josie Mullarkey, Coonian
Maura Maguire (nee Mc Caughey), Luton & Trillick
Gabriella Mc Dermott (nee Mc Intyre), New Jersey formerly Conmore, Derrygonnelly
Bridget Mallen, Tipperary
Mary Ellen & Edward Maguire, Belleek
Michael & Mary O Brien, Belleek
John Farry, Erne Drive, Enniskillen
Maura Burns, Brughas, Enniskillen
Anthony (Tony) Woods, Enniskillen formerly Ballyconnell
The Woods Family, Ballyconnell
John & Elizabeth Carrigan & the Carrigan & Kerrigan families, Moneygashel, Blacklion & Johnny Carrigan, London
Mary & Paddy Regan, Moneygashel, Blacklion
Michael Keown, Mullaghdun &The Keown & Keoghan families, Derriens West, Letterbreen & Mullaghdun
James & Alice Brogan & their daughter Alice Cassidy, Irvinestown
Mary Jane Mc Nulty, Roscor, Belleek
Francis & Peggy Doonan, Kinawley
Hugh Green, Coa
Telephone: 028 6632 2272
Fax: 028 6632 5201