Gospel: Lk 13:1-9
One day, some people told Jesus what had occurred in the temple: Pilate had had Galileans killed, and their blood mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. Jesus asked them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered this? No, I tell you. But unless you change your ways, you will all perish, as they did. And those eighteen persons in Siloah, who were crushed when the tower fell, do you think they were more guilty than all the others in Jerusalem? I tell you: no. But unless you change your ways, you will all perish, as they did.” And Jesus continued, “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it, but found none. Then he said to the gardener, ‘Look here, for three years now I have been looking for figs on this tree, and I have found none. Cut it down, why should it continue to deplete the soil?’ The gardener replied, ‘Leave it one more year, so that I may dig around it and add some fertilizer; perhaps it will bear fruit from now on. But if it doesn’t, you can cut it down.’”
Catastrophes or accidents which take people‘s lives constantly force people to ask. When some die suddenly and there are no justifiable reasons, some see it as a punishment from God. They see some lapses in their lives. Jesus disagrees. “Do you think they were more guilty than anyone else who lived in Jerusalem?“ Jesus asks. “Certainly not!“ he asserts. In fact, he says, his hearers will all meet a similar fate unless they change their ways. The sins of the victims were not the cause of their death but they are certainly warnings to the rest of us to see if we are ready to give the best for God and humanity. And he goes on to illustrate his meaning with a parable. A man had a fig tree in his garden which did not produce fruit. Eventually he told the gardener to cut the tree down because it had not given fruit for three years in a row and it was only taking up space. However, the gardener urged that the tree be left for one more year and be given one more chance. In the meantime, he would hoe the ground and add some fertilizer. If, after those efforts, there was still no fruit, let it be cut down. The story can be linked to what Jesus has just said. In a sense the people he has been talking to are like fig trees that have not borne fruit. They still have a chance to turn their lives around, a chance which was not given to those who had died in those two incidents. We, too, are being given a chance – For a day? A month? Several years? We have no idea. What is clear is that there is no time to waste; we have to start today. We are called to be fruitful with our lives and the time to be serious with our lives is to grow in faith and in love.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018