REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
October 24, 2020
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply, ‘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. If not you can cut it down.’” Lk.13:7-9
God expects us to bear fruit from the gifts he gives us by growing more like him and building up his Church. Jesus exhorts all who are listening that they must repent, or they will perish as others have. He then tells the parable of a fig tree whose owner will cut it down if it fails to bear fruit.
The parable of the fig tree tells us that God shows us mercy and provides for us with the expectation that we will respond by bearing fruit. Christ’s gifts to each of us are meant to help us grow in understanding and love and build up the body of Christ.
The image of the figure reflects our souls many times. Often in life we can fall into a rut and our relationship with God and others struggles. As a result, our lives bear little or no good fruit.
Perhaps this is not you at the present moment, but perhaps it is. Perhaps your life is strongly grounded in Christ or perhaps you are greatly struggling. If you are struggling, try to see yourself as this fig tree. And try to see the person who commits to “cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it” as Jesus Himself.
It’s important to note that Jesus does not look at this fig tree and discard it as worthless. He is a God of second chances and He is committed to caring for this fig tree in such a way as to offer it every necessary opportunity to bear fruit. So it is with us. Jesus never just throws us away, regardless of how far we have strayed. He is always ready and willing to reach out to us in the ways we need so that our lives can once again bear much fruit.
Reflect, today, upon whether you feel as though you are in need of allowing Jesus to “cultivate the ground” around you. Do not be afraid to let Him provide you with the nourishment you need so as to once again bear an abundance of good fruit in your life.
Lord, I know that I always am in need of Your love and care in my life. I need to be nourished by You so that I can bear the fruit that You desire from me. Help me to be open to the ways in which You wish to nourish my soul so that I can accomplish all that You have in mind for me. Jesus, I trust in You.