The parable is an invitation for us to consider Lent as a time of grace

3rd Sunday of Lent

Ex. 3:1-8a, 13-15; Psalm 102; 1 Cor. 10:1-6, 10-12; Lq. 13:1-9

Read: Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them: “Do you suppose that these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.”

He told them this parable: ”A man had a fig tree planted in the vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard: “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down, why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir”, the man replied, “Leave it one more year and give me time to dig around it and manure it; it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”

Reflect: In today’s Gospel Jesus uses two events that happened in his time so that, with these, he would make a call for conversion. The message of the parable of the fig tree is clear; from those who heard the message of the Gospel, God awaits good fruit. He does not want external religious practices, but looks to actions of love. St. Luke, the evangelist of love, includes in this parable another year of expectation, before definitive action is taken. He presents God as patient, tolerating our weakness as human beings, including out hardness of our mind and heart.

Nonetheless, this attitude should not be interpreted that one should be indifferent to evil. This does not mean that we should accept being careless, indifferent, and superficial. Our lifetime is too precious for us to lose one moment. As soon as we see Jesus’ light, we should accept him and immediately walk behind him. The parable is an invitation for us to consider Lent as a time of grace, as a precious new time given to the fig tree (to every person) so as to produce fruit.

Pray: Lord do not uproot me. Continue to open my eyes. Be hard on me as much as is necessary, but keep me within your fold.

Act: Make a serious and urgent decision: convert! Sift your life, redeem yourself and turn towards God.

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