1 Cor 10:1-6
The gospel begins with some people talking about tragedies that occurred. A common belief at that time was that people suffered because of sins committed. Jesus responds to their comments with, “By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” He then tells a parable about a fig tree that produced no fruit. His point was that looking at externals was not sufficient for making judgments about others and then attributing the results to God. We must look inside ourselves to recognize the will of God and then respond to that will for the experiences in our lives, knowing that it is our actions that cause any kind of result.
In the parable the owner of the fig tree wants it cut down because no fruit was produced. The gardener replies with, “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.
Picture ourselves as the fig tree. Have we produced any good fruit, that is, any good works? Has our relationship with God deepened? Have we eliminated racism, prejudice, anger, criticism from our lives? Have we given our time, talent and treasure to others in need? What kind of cultivation and fertilization do we need to produce good fruit? Hopefully, none of us will be seen as useless fig trees that need to be cut down because we don’t produce any kind of good fruit in our lives.
Lent is a good time to honestly look at ourselves and determine what blocks are in place preventing good fruit from growing within us. It is a time to let go of those blocks and grow in our relationship with God and others. We are called to repent, to have a change of heart in order to grow and produce good fruit. Let this Lent be the time that we assess what needs to change in our lives so as to bear good fruit — good thoughts, words and actions.
If you came in contact with God as Moses did in the burning bush in the first reading, how would your life be judged?
What are some of the good fruits you have produced in your life? What prevents more good fruit from growing?