Sunday Soundbite for February 27, 2022

Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle C
February 27, 2022

Lent is just around the corner—and today’s Scriptures can help you plan your Lenten observance. But first recall the purpose of Lent: A time to prepare candidates for baptism, and to call baptized Christians to penance, conversion, and a renewed commitment to Christ at Easter.

Conversion involves the heart. The Hebrew sage Sirach uses metaphors to explain how our speech reveals what’s in our heart. A clay pot is only as good as how it was fired; a tree’s fruit reveals how well the tree was cared for.

Luke offers agricultural images from Jesus to make a similar point. “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit.” Jesus’ focus is the heart: “from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks”—good or evil. We’re to behave in ways which go beyond society’s accepted standards. That’s how God acts toward us.

Take the final phrase of today’s Gospel as a handy norm for observing Lent: “From the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” Be creative in what you choose as external Lenten practices, but be certain they lead you to conversion in speech and action from a renewing heart.

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