Repentance of the Barren Fig Tree
Reflection on the Gospel of the Saturday In The Twentyninth Week In Ordinary Time
Today’s gospel passage is an open invitation for everyone to repent. To repent is to return, to repair, to restore ones relationship with God. The call for repentance is not for God’s chosen people alone, but also extends to the entire world as Jesus Christ’s blood purchased redemption for the entire world. Salvation is a free gift poured out to all human beings irrespective of caste, race, religion, region and language. Through the parable of the barren fig tree, Jesus calls us all to repentance, let us reflect on this.
In the parable of the barren fig tree, the vineyard represents the people of Israel. The Fig tree represents the gentile people. The Gardener represents God’s servant. The three year period represent the period of grace. The Man or owner of the vineyard represents God the Father. The Heavenly Father expects all the trees planted in his vineyards to be bear much fruits and become a blessing for others. By his grace he has planted the fig tree among the vine and expected it to bear fruit like the vine, but this fig tree could not bear any fruits and God wanted to remove it from the vineyard, but the Gardener pleads for for the fig tree, and work hard that it may bear fruit. Pleading for others is a nature of God’s chosen people. Example – Abhram pleaded with God for the righteous people in the town of Sodom and Gomorrah. Moses plead for the Israelite people who committed sin against God. Esther pleaded for the Jews to be saved from hands of their enemy. Stephen plead for that the Jewish community be forgiven of their sin of murder etc. Our God is a merciful father, slow to anger and always listens to the intercession of his servants. The hour comes when the world will be judged, and the yardstick of judgement will be the fruit we will bear.
There are 7 symptoms which shows we are not bearing fruits
- Self will
- Separation from God’s love
- Spiritual dryness
- Spiritual degeneration
- Spiritual destruction
If we are fall under any of the above category then repent and return to God.
There are 7 steps in repentance
- Realisation of our own sin
- Resolution (take decision)
- Returning to God
- Reunion with God
- Renewed/revitalised with the power of Holy Spirit
- Rejoice in Lord in all circumstance
Our Lord eagerly awaits each one of us, ready to bless us with his good deeds. Let us come before God with whole heartedly and become the fruit of being his witnesses to the world.