Sun 3 Mar, 2013
Tags: Benedictine Sisters, Jesus, Lent, Prayer
In today’s gospel (Luke 13: 1-9) Luke portrays Jesus as a righteous judge juxtaposed to other not-so-righteous judges who want to ascribe more guilt to those who die dishonorably.
His parable of the fig tree speaks of good resulting from nurturing, patience and guidance. Just as a fig tree bears fruit after it has been given the benefits of moisture, fertilizer and sunshine, so too, we can bear fruit given the growing graces of God.
A plant does not bear fruit quickly. It takes the proper amount of nutrients and time, time for the seed to sprout and grow and then the flower to form and take shape as a fruit. Only after it is grown and ripe can the fruit be picked and eaten.
Not all plants require the same amount of nutrients. Some plants and trees need more rain and some less; some grow best in warmer arid climates and others do well in tropical climates; some need pruning and others rarely require any assistance; some need lots of sun and others need just a minimal amount. To balance all these variables will produce much fruit.
Figs are an ancient desert fruit, and Jesus would know about them and what to expect from a fig tree. To not produce after three years would be most unusual. Perhaps the ground was not fit or perhaps the tree itself had a defect.
The story does not explain, but trees are really not what the lesson is about. It is about what we are feeding ourselves, how much care we are giving to being formed by the right manner of activities.
If we avail ourselves to being fed by the Spirit and nourished by the Word, then we will bear fruit. We have a master gardener ready and able to help us. He will give us what we need, and we will bear fruit in abundance, the fruit of justice and peace, mercy and charity. Our lives will be full of compassion, forgiveness and love.
These are the fruit Jesus desires from us. These are the fruit of true disciples. We will be fruitful and faithful.
May this Lent bear much fruit for our good and the good of the church.