Lectio Divina


Saturday - Ordinary Time

1) Opening prayer

Almighty and everlasting God,
our source of power and inspiration,
give us strength and joy
in serving you as followers of Christ,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2) Gospel Reading - Luke 13,1-9

It was just about this time that some people arrived and told Jesus 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." '

3) Reflection

● The Gospel today gives us information which is only found in Luke’s Gospel and there are no parallel passages in the other Gospels. We are meditating on the long journey from Galilee to Jerusalem and which takes almost half of Luke’s Gospel, from chapter 9 to chapter 19 (Lk 9, 51 to 19, 28). In this part Luke places most of the information which he obtains on the life and teaching of Jesus (Lk 1, 1-4).
● Luke 13, 1: The event which requires an explanation. “At that time some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of the their sacrifices”. When we read the newspaper or listen to the news on TV, we receive much information, but we do not always understand all its meaning. We listen to everything, but we really do not know what to do with so much information and news. There are terrible news such as the tsunami, terrorism, the wars, hunger, violence, crime, the attacks, etc. This is how the news of the horrible massacre which Pilate, the Roman Governor, had ordered with some Samaritan pilgrims reached Jesus. Such news upset us, throw us off. And one asks: “What can I do?” To calm down their conscience, many defend themselves and say: “It is their fault! They do not work! They are lazy people!” At the time of Jesus, people defended themselves saying: “<it is a punishment of God because of their sins!” (Jn 9, 2-3). For centuries it had been taught: “The Samaritans do not say the truth. They have a mistaken religion!” (2 K 17, 24-41).
● Luke 13, 2-3: Jesus’ response. Jesus has a different opinion. “Do you suppose that those Galileans were worse sinners than any others that this should have happened to them? 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? I tell you, No, but unless you repent you will perish as they did. He seeks to invite to conversion and to change.
● Luke 13, 4-5: Jesus comments another fact. Or those eighteen on whom the tower of Siloam fell, killing them all; do you believe they were more guilty than all the other people in Jerusalem?
It must have been a disaster which was greatly commented in the city. A thunderstorm knocked down the tower of Siloam killing eighteen persons who were protecting themselves under it.
The normal comment was “Punishment from God!” Jesus repeats: “I tell you No, but unless you repent you will perish as they did". They were not converted, they did not change, and forty years later Jerusalem was destroyed and many people died, being killed in the Temple like the Samaritans and many people died under the debri or ruble of the walls of the city. Jesus tried to warn them, but the request for peace was not accepted: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem!” (Lk 13, 34). Jesus teaches to discover the calls of the events of life of every day.
● Luke 13, 6-9: A parable in such a way as to make people think and discover God’s project. “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. Then he said to the vinedresser: 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”. Many times the vine is used to indicate God’s affection for his people, or to indicate the lack of correspondence of the people to God’s love (Is 5, 1-7; 27, 2-5; Jr 2, 21; 8, 13; Ex 19, 10-14; Ho 10, 1-8; Mi 7, 1; Jn 15, 1-6). In the parable, the landlord of the vine is God, the Father. The vinedresser who intercedes in behalf of the vine is Jesus. He insists with the Father to extend the space, the time of conversion.

4) Personal questions

● God’s People, God’s vineyard. I am part of this vineyard. I apply this parable to myself. What conclusion do I draw?
● What do I do with the news that I receive? Do I seek to have a critical opinion, or do I continue to have the opinion of the majority and of mass media, of means of communication?

5) Concluding prayer

Who is like Yahweh our God?
His throne is set on high,
but he stoops to look down on heaven and earth.
He raises the poor from the dust,
he lifts the needy from the dunghill. (Ps 113,5-7)

 
 
 
 
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Last revised: 7 October 2008