Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Feb 21, 2013 | Comments (0)

Third Sunday in Lent: Repent is to Change Our Way of Thinking

Bottom Line Spirituality: Worldly and Godly Thinking

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for The Third Sunday in Lent

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

Spirituality is our innate ability to feel the difference worldly or godly thinking makes to the way scripture translates to our daily life and relationships.

Luke 13:1-9 “Unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”

Jesus was teaching the multitudes about hypocrisy. The fact: we can interpret the signs of the weather physically. What we think we see worldly determines how we feel. The problem: we do not know how to interpret the present spiritual time Godly. When we are out of His spiritual Presence, we do not judge for ourselves what is right. We have to depend on others to tell us what is right. Luke 12:57

Word now comes that Pilate has butchered Galilean Samaritans who were making sacrifices outside of the Temple. The teller of the tale’s attitude was they got what they deserved from God because all Samaritans are pagans.

They forgot that Jesus was from Galilee. Perhaps He even knew those who were murdered. Jesus then points out two other times Judeans had suffered tragedy. Perhaps they knew them. Were they anymore sinners than the Galileans?  Unless you repent the same will happen to you. Then He goes on to tell the story of the tree. What has that story got to do with anything about the previous events?

Here is a tree that has been given one chance after another by the gardener. The master is tired of waiting for it to produce fruit. Chop it down. The gardener replies, give me one more chance and I will fertilize it and perhaps it will start to produce. Alright, one more chance.

We never know what happens to the tree. That is because Jesus wants to leave what happens to it up to us. We are the tree. Repenting in a worldly way is to confess our sins because that is what we did. The emphasis in the parable is on the sin, not sins. Sin is separation from God. Apart from God, we can do nothing. There is no fruit. John 15:5

For Jesus, “repent” was to change our way of thinking from worldly to godly; from being out of the Presence to coming into the Presence of God. The fact there is no fruit, is not the issue. The trouble is coming from something inside the tree that stops it from producing.

Jesus is not talking about the Galileans or the Judeans who died. He is talking to those with their self-righteous judgmental attitude. He is talking to us as well. If we continue with this attitude we are going to die spiritually, no matter how much Jesus works with us.

In the previous chapter, He concludes by saying, “As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper." In other words, never take your self-righteousness to God and expect anything but judgment. Learn how to interpret the current spiritual signs. Our anger, hurt, and pain are gifts from God. They are signs of our being out of His Presence. We need to change our way of thinking from “out to in” to “in to out” thinking. Know the difference between being out worldly and in Godly in His Presence.

1 Corinthians 10:13 “God will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out.”

Spirituality can change our life. The way out is the way through difficult times. In consciously feeling His Presence, the old life of fear is changed into a new sense of His Peace.

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