23rd October 2021
The parables get us thinking and reflecting upon the generosity and patience of God to us as well as the means given to us to be ready to face Him when He comes and asks from us the accountability of our earthly life.
In today’s parable we have a fig tree in a vineyard that seems as good as dead. It has failed to bear fruit for three successive years. The reaction of the owner of the vineyard seems quite reasonable; have the fig tree cut down because it is only taking up space that could be used for vines. However, the owner’s worker had a different perspective. He looked at the apparently useless fig tree and he saw the possibility that it could still bear fruit. He had a more generous vision of the fig tree, a more hopeful vision.
In truth all was not lost; there was still time for the fig tree to come good. The parable may be saying that this is how the Lord looks upon us, for he sees not just what we have failed to do in the our daily lives but what we are capable of doing in the future. He looks on us with generous and hopeful eyes. That is the way we are to look at each other and, indeed, at every situation in life. Like the worker in the vineyard, we need to be patient and look beneath the surface for the faint signs of new life that may be there. We are not to blame nor point at each other for their own failures. We need to be positive and merciful to them as God is. This Gospel teaches us lot of things to be pondered upon especially the way he takes care of us. We will look at the two of them.
“One more year.” Another year of experiencing the grace of God and the gifts of the Church. God always keeps postponing the time for judgment for us that is why we are still wake up when the morning comes. This is the great love and patience of God for us. He always has a positive view and hope in us; no matter how bad and wicked we are sometimes before his eyes. He is so companionate to us. The rest of our life is another good chance, good opportunity given to us to improve our life and to prepare the time for his harvest, our last time to meet him and to be accountable of his graces in our lives.
“I will dig around it and put fertilizer on it.”. This is the means and graces given to us every day by Christ and his church. To dig around a plant, whether a fig tree or a flower bed, is to aerate the soil and to rid the soil of weeds and other things that might choke the plant. This is the work of the Holy Spirit that is working in the Church. He intervenes our life and removes what kills and chokes and prepares the way for the Gospel. In man, the thing that kills and chokes faith is first of all unbelief, sin, selfishness, self-glorification, selfcenteredness and attachments of the world. The Gospel, the Sacraments of the Church, and many other virtues are what make our faith grow, and therefore is the fertilizer that is given and carefully placed in us by Christ Himself.
As Christians, followers of Christ, we are called to bear fruits. It is not an option to be fruitful in our spiritual journey. We have to bear fruit as the owner, who is God Himself, our Creator, wants and intends to. The fruit we need to bear gives joy and satisfaction for the God Himself as well as our fellow human beings. Let us also take advantage of the means that the church are given to us to grow spiritually.