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Repent or Perish – the Parable of the Fig tree

Reflection for Saturday, October 23
Daily Readings: Romans 8:1-11 & Luke 13: 1 – 9
29th Week in Ordinary Time

In the Gospel, Jesus invites his listeners and to each of us to continually keep a check on our lives to bring repentance in the areas that do not allow us to come closer to God and to our fellow human beings. A total and sincere change of heart and mind (metanoia) will be more pleasing to God than superficial verbal diarrhea that we normally show in the presence of God.

During the time of Jesus, it was widely believed that if bad things happened to a person, it was considered to be a direct punishment from God. A child born blind, for instance, was considered to be suffering from some horrific sin committed by his parents. Even to this day, in many of our cultures, we see the same trend. Jesus invites us to go beyond our petty thinking and judgemental attitude towards others but rather see those events as mere events that place in time and space.

Moreover, the parable of the barren fig tree is a stark reminder for each of us that God is patient with us. He manifests His compassionate love to us and, more importantly waits for our return to Him. He is waiting for our moves and for an eventual fruitful decision in trimming ourselves, giving time for God, bringing newness in our lives, etc. This can be personally achieved by a diligent acceptance of our strengths and weaknesses. The servant pleads with the Master to give him time so that he could make the fig tree yield figs through the changing of the soil, manure, and unearthing the surrounding areas of the tress for better weather and sunshine.

Are we not like the barren fig tree waiting for us to let God enter into our lives so that we can bear fruit in due season? Let us make efforts to usher in true repentance and thereby yield fruits in the kingdom of God.

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