“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.”
These words were spoken by the arborist who asks that the fig tree which was found to be barren be cut down for it is uselessness without its fruit. How Jesus knew the fig tree was barren is because the leaves and the figs grow together. Here the leaves are there, but not the figs.
Lately in the news or even in some sitcoms, we are often shown people who ask for a second chance at something. Perhaps the fig tree in today’s Gospel symbolizes or reminds us that during this season of Lent, we might take time to examine ourselves and find there is someone in our life that needs a second chance. A chance to make amends, a chance to revive a longtime friendship, a chance to sincerely apologize, a chance to forgive. The list can go on, and I venture to say, if one digs deep enough with much prayer and reflection, one can recall a reason to give someone a second chance.
God has created us for a purpose, and that is to know and to love Him forever. He has planted in us the seed of goodness and love, mercy and compassion. He has provided us the means to grow. He has given gifts of time, talent and treasure. Together these blessings help us to grow spiritually – not in the future as waiting for the fig tree to perhaps grow again, but now... today bear fruit. Lent is the time!
Sr. Celeste Hupert, CSFN