In today's reading from the book of Exodus,
Moses spots a flame in a
and when he checks it out,
he finds that it's a messenger from
And then, when he gets nearer, he hears God's name—
I AM WHO
Moses learns the nature of God, and of all that is:
ground he stands on is holy;
the people of God are holy;
all creation is
on fire with God's love.
The bush is burning.
From the stardust of
to this very day,
every bush is burning.
God's name is written
in all that is,
and it is to be remembered
Nearly 1500 years later,
Jesus looks around
and sees that people are not remembering the name of
They are not remembering that the ground is holy.
They do not see
that all creation is on fire with the love of God.
So he tells people about
In the passage just before
he tells the crowds that they know
how to interpret signs
of the earth and the sky
but not the signs of the time.
He asks them why
they don't judge for themselves what is right.
Then he tells them that, if
they don't change their ways,
they will all perish,
and he follows
with the parable of the fig that isn't bearing fruit.
The owner wants
to cut it down,
but the gardener pleads for time
to try some routine
for just one more year to bring it into
Now, it takes three to five
years for a fig tree to fruit,
and the planter of the tree expects fruit in
the fourth year.
The gardener knows that it should mature and bear
by the next year, its fifth year.
If there's no change, it will be
The crowd recognizes the fig tree
as a typical metaphor for the
They understand that Jesus is saying
that the center of
the Temple in Jerusalem and its cult of Roman
And the crowd clearly understands his
unless they change, unless the Temple changes,
Now, 2000 years after
Jesus, and 3500 years after Moses,
we hear the same message,
aimed at us.
In Pope Francis' encyclical Laudatio Si'
we hear that the
center of our culture is unproductive;
unless we change, we will
We hear Francis calling us to heed the signs of our times.
lead in Flint's water, microcystin in ours.
Record heat and record
Record earthquakes and cyclones and tornadoes.
Violence in Kalamazoo
and on our streets in Toledo
and around the world.
pollution, water pollution, land pollution, extinction of species.
all around us, the signs of our times,
calling us to change our ways,
we will perish.
It's inspiring to
see so many Toledoans,
especially our Holy Spirit Community,
their personal lifestyle habits
to become more and more responsive
Francis' call to care for creation.
Some folks carpool, or bike to work, even
Some turn down the thermostat and put on a sweater.
buying local food at local businesses.
Some are researching candidates'
so they can vote their consciences in the March 15
And all of us are trying to get a few trees planted.
and little things,
each of them part of the effort to take better care of our
Inspiring as all these
good works are,
we know we have to do more.
God's name is written in all
and human selfishness and greed are destroying it.
we're spending time this Lent fine-tuning our lives,
eager to follow ever
more closely the lesson Jesus teaches.
We must read the signs of the
We must judge what is right and act on it.
We must care for
as an act of love for God and neighbor
and a work of justice for
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30
p.m./Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
Holy Thursday, March 24, 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 26, 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue (Washington
Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor
Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH