Saturday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel (Lk 13:1-9)
Some people told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. He said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them– do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.’”
God gives us a lot to consider about repenting. If we don’t repent, then we will perish. It is simple. An unrepentant heart will lead you to self-destruction.
Jesus’ parable tells of a figure, a fig tree, that bears no fruit and is threatened to be cut down. This figure gives nothing and just continues to take from the soil, which has to provide for the tree’s existence. This tree can resemble a person who is only living for himself, never forgiving or providing any kind of nourishment to help others, resulting in his own death.
The Father creates this figure and looks at it for how it is fulfilling its duty. The gardener is Jesus. He oversees the figure to help it produce by cultivating the ground and giving food for favorable growing conditions. Jesus gives us all we need to grow and produce fruit to share with others. He gives us a repentant heart and shows us how to love.
There is a time for all of us to produce for our Creator. Our Savior can provide fertile soil, but he cannot make us repent for our wrongdoings or demand that we love each other. He cannot make us give ourselves in service to others out of love for God. God the Father gives Jesus permission to “cut it down” if there is not a natural order of life and growth. The Father and the Son know every member of creation and who responds to the gardener’s care and who does not. Will we flourish under the care of Jesus or will we be cut down by almighty God?
Blessed be God.