The Parable of the Fig Tree - A call to Repentance

In the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.

Opening Hymn:

O word of God Come into this space; O word of God come send us your grace.                             

Open our minds show us your truth; Transform our lives a new.

Introduction: We are on our Lenten Journey, a season of grace, time of prayer and spiritual renewal. This third week of lent we reflect on the parable of the Fig Tree and our call to repentance. Let us open our hearts and minds to God's forgiveness, healing and mercy.

Let us pray: Loving God, you give us forty days to journey into the inner mountains of our hearts and lives.  Let these sacred days be a time when we seek and find you with in each of us. Make this time of Lent a time to listen to your voice and be guided by your spirit. We ask through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel: Luke 13:1-9

Some people told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. Jesus said to them in reply, "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them- do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!" And he told them this parable:  "There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard,  and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, '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.'"

The Gospel of the Lord - Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

Reflections: The Gospel reading invites us to ponder on some key words.  Words like sinners, repent, cut it down, I shall cultivate...fertilize it and may bear fruit. The owner of the fig tree only cares about whether the tree bears fruit-he has no regard for the tree and its life. The gardener, on the other hand, cares about the fig tree, sees the life still there, and wants to give it every chance to produce. He understands that as long as there's life, there's potential to bear fruit. What wastes away life within us and prevents us from bearing fruit is sin. Repentance, then, means choosing to nurture new life and all the fullness it can bring. Jesus here refers to two recent disasters, otherwise unknown to historians. One was the outrage of a tyrant, the other an accident involving construction workers in Siloam .From both events he draws a warning for Israel. Unless the nation repents, it too will perish. For Jesus, repentance means accepting his message of God's kingdom. The parable of the fig tree reinforces the challenge to repent Growing up takes hard work. Getting ahead in life takes hard work. Deepening our relationship with God and others takes hard work. It is no surprise, then, that repenting takes hard work. The discipline of Lent includes this kind of hard-work repentance which leads to the new life Easter promises.

Please share, any word or phrase or thought that inspires you from the Gospel reading.

Dear friends lent is a time of Prayer, We share in the paschal mystery, in the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus our Lord. Let us pray for charity, forgiveness, reconciliation, healing and renewal.

  1. For the Church: that we may be faithful children of God and remain single-minded in seeking to do God's will we pray to the Lord - Lord, create a new spirit in us.
  2. For the grace to be aware: that we may slow down, detach ourselves from the busyness of daily life and find a quiet place to listen to God, we pray - Lord, create a new spirit in us.
  3. For the gift of listening: that we may be open to the Word of God, allow our hearts to be  transformed, and be enlightened by its wisdom- Lord, create a new spirit in us 4
  4. For wisdom: that God will lead us to freedom of spirit and inspire our choices as we face trials and temptations in life, we pray- - Lord, create a new spirit in us. 5
  5. For a spirit of gratitude: that we may recognize and give thanks for all of God's gifts to us and place them in the service of the Gospel, we pray- - Lord, create a new spirit in us. 6
  6. For all who are struggling with life; for those who are in fear or darkness, for those who have lost meaning or hope: that God's light may lead their life, we pray to the Lord- Lord, create a new spirit in us.

(Time for personal intentions)

Prayer - Our Father

Closing Prayer: God of Hope, we journey with Jesus during this Lenten season with the certain hope that you will renew each of us as your true disciples. Call us out of the wilderness of selfishness and indifference. Help us to reach out to those who do not know hope or love by being your messengers of love and peace, we ask this through Christ Our Lord, Amen. 

Closing Hymn:

O word of God Come into this space; O word of God come send us your grace.

Open our minds show us your truth; Transform our lives a new.

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