SOUL FOOD for Young Adult Communities. 3rd Sunday of Lent, March 3, 2013

SOUL FOOD FOR YOUNG ADULT COMMUNITIES:  Third Sunday of Lent, march 3, 2013. Year of St. Luke.

Letter to Sinead and Mark, and Friends.  Sinead and mark are two young adulsts.

Dear Sinead, Mark and Friends, 

His last Tweet! “Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives” –  Pope Benedict’s final Tweet, on Thursday evening, February 28th, to his followers on Tweet:-( See more at: )

Well, the Pope has stepped down, as of Thursday evening last. On Wednesday, he addressed over 100,000 people in St. Peter’s Square. Referring to the account in St. Mark, (Chapter 4, v.35)  about Jesus in the boat, fast asleep with his head on a cushion, he said: There were moments of joy and light but also moments that were not easy … there were moments, as there were throughout the history of the Church, when the seas were rough and the wind blew against us and it seemed that the Lord was sleeping.” Reminds me of a song we used this past week with the Leaving Cert students in St. Flannan’s College, Ennis,- ‘With Jesus in the boat, we can smile at the storm.’ And Hi to all you St. Flannan’s students who came for the retreat. You were mighty, and a joy to be with!

Our Soul Food for this weekend is given to us from St. Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 13, verse 1-9. Not an easy one, so let’s break it down a bit. This story is about conversion of heart and the urgency of it. It is sandwiched between one parable about the Rich Hoarder who said ‘let’s eat, drink and be merry’, not aware that he had only a day left to live, and God called him ‘you fool!’,(this is in Chapter 12:16)  and another parable-story about the Rich Man with poor Lazarus lying outside his door, ravenous (Luke 16:19). Conversion of heart? No way, for this rich man, either, -  he didn’t have time. This week, the Gospel story is about the call to turn for home again. Next week, it will be about the joy, music and celebration when the lost Son did eventually turn and go home.

Read today’s story yourself (Luke 13:1-9): various disasters and tragedies had happened and Jesus was asked about them. But he told the people in reply that the biggest ‘tragedy’ for them, the biggest ‘disaster’ in their lives would be if they did not have a change of heart. Fig trees should produce figs, he told them, after a couple of seasons: if the time goes on and on and there’s no fruit, what’s the use of having the fig tree at all? But Jesus is not interested in teaching us about figs,- he’s talking about ourselves. Season after season, Lent after Lent, goes by,- but is there any change of heart in me? In us? That’s what breaks Jesus’ heart! And that’s our tragedy, if we continue like that. But what gives the Father great joy is when we do have a change of heart, when we  come to our senses, and come back home. (Next week, watch out for the Prodigal Son parable, as seen through the eyes of Cornelius the Pig (who was being minded by the same son), and maybe through the eyes of the Fatted Calf,- a (sadly truncated!) version told in the first person singular by the same calf! These were penned by two 14yr old lads who were studying that parable closely.)

I wrote this  poem below some few years back, in response to a young person saying to me ‘Thank you for talking to us about sin,- we seldom hear about it.”  (J.C. is Jesus Christ). Just imagine a farmer, with a big stump of an oak tree right in the middle of field. For years, he has just ploughed around it. It has annoyed him for along time, and now he decides it’s time to do something about it, to get it out of there.


A stump of a tree

In the field

Of my heart:

A stump

Of sin.


I’ve seen it there

For years,

But still I’ve not had



To take it out.


I’ve walked around it,

Wished it were not there;

I’ve told myself

some day’ I’ll tackle it,

I’ll face it, fair and square

Some day-

But not


I must’, I say, ‘I will’-



And so the sin,

This stump of sin,


When will I get

the Digger in, for sin?

I would this JC be

With me,- and He would too,

If I but ask Him


His Power is what

Takes such a stump away:



Come, Lord,

And both of us will

Tackle this in me,-

To clear my heart

So you can freely

Plough in me again.

Come Lord, I won’t delay.


Seamus Devitt C.Ss.R.

(Written following a word from a student after a day of retreat, saying ‘Thanks for speaking of Sin: We seldom hear of it!’)

Feed back to 


That Tweet, again: “Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives” 



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