October 22, Saturday,29th Week in Ordinary Time
St. John Paul II
Daily readings: Ephesians 4:7-16 & Luke 13:1-19
In the gospel today, Jesus draws attention to one of our common faults—coming to rash conclusions that destructive and painful events happen to others due to their evil actions and sins.
Jesus cites two instances: the killing of Galileans by Pilate and mingling their blood with their sacrifices, and the tragic death of the people who died when a tower fell at Siloah. He makes it very clear that in both these instances, the people did not die because they were worse sinners than those who were listening to him.
The bottom line of Jesus' message is that unless you change your ways, you will perish as they did. That means we must take responsibility for our lives, actions, and behavior rather than jump to conclusions and judge others.
Tragedies like accidents, sickness, death, and natural disasters can happen to anyone—good people and bad people. It is wrong to judge them and think they are God’s punishment for their sins. It is not our business to attribute blame or find fault. We ought to leave judgment to God, and we must focus attention on improving our own lives.
To make this point clear, Jesus uses the fig tree example. The owner of the fig tree looked for fruit on the tree for three years in succession. Seeing none, he asked the gardener to cut it down. The gardener pleaded with the master for one more year, during which he said he would dig around and give more manure and hope for fruit.
God expects us to bear fruit and not merely exist. Our life has a purpose; like the fig tree, we are expected to bear fruit. We have received much from God, so there is no excuse for not bearing fruit. We have received God’s grace and blessings in plenty, and as Jesus tells us if we have received much, much will be expected from us.
Paul reminds us that God has given us specific gifts: to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, or teachers. We should be faithful to whatever call the Lord has extended to us. We must work hard to build up the body of Christ, the Church.
Am I ready to work hard and bear fruit?
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.