Encountering God in the Natural World

Readings for Sunday, March 20, 2022 — Third Sunday of Lent

Exodus 3:1-8A, 13-15; Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8, 11; 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12; Luke 13:1-9

Suggested Reflection Questions:

  • Moses tends the flock of his father-in-law. The life of a shepherd is one of silent watchfulness. Amidst the desert at the base of Mount Horeb, Moses observes a bush blazing with fire, yet it’s not consumed by the flames. Moses’ curiosity compels him to investigate this phenomenon and eventually leads Moses to an encounter with God that forever changes his life and the lives, story, and tradition of an entire people. Has your sense of curiosity about the natural world ever yielded an opportunity to experience the presence of God? How can you incorporate Moses’ quiet watchfulness into your own busy life, especially if you live in a big city?
  • The psalmist describes God’s kindness as mysterious and limitless, just like the heavens. Learn something new about our universe this week. Can you see God’s infinite goodness and kindness reflected in the vastness of space? How?
  • In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the fig tree. The orchard owner, frustrated that the tree has yet to bear fruit, instructs the gardener to chop it down. The gardener suggests that perhaps the tree requires some extra care, nurture, and cultivation to be fruitful. Is there a relationship with a friend, colleague, family member, or significant other you’ve been tempted to end because it doesn’t seem to be fruitful? How can you, like the gardener, give it the care it deserves to see if some cultivation can help it flourish? When do you know it is time to cut a relationship that isn’t being fruitful?