• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
Friday, 01 March 2013 21:34

Third Sunday of Lent - Year C

Written by Fr Dom Flores SVD

Parable of the Fig Tree
Third Sunday of Lent C
Gospel (Luke 13:1-9)

“Unless you repent, you will likewise perish.” This is not a threat, but an invitation to lead a more fulfilled Christian life. During the 40 days of Lent we’ll be constantly reminded to repent, to have a change of heart for our own good; to change our evil ways and follow the way of the Lord, who is the only ‘way, truth and life.’ (Jn. 14:6). In the gospel reading today, there are three invitations to repentance.  The first invitation involves the bloody massacre of a group of Galilean protesters. Pilate bloodily crushed these Galilean zealots in their rebellion, because they were extremely fanatic.  The second invitation refers to an accident involving the collapse of a tower connected with the Siloam tunnel built by King Hezekiah. Eighteen persons were killed in the disastrous collapse.

The question in both cases is: Did the persons die as a result of divine judgment and punished due to their personal sins?  Jesus’ answer to his listeners in both cases was a definite “no.” Some sinners are punished in this life, but earthly punishment is no proof of greater sin on their part. Instead Jesus stressed the universal need for repentance.  “Unless you repent (a radical change of heart), you will likewise perish.”

The third call to repentance comes in a form of the parable of the fig tree that did not bear fruit. The story has three characters: a) The vineyard represents God; b) The gardener signifies Christ, and c) the fig tree is the Jewish people then. God expected fruits from his chosen people but they produced nothing. He now decided to cut them down, because “why use up the ground?”   But the gardener, Christ, pleaded to give the fig tree (his beloved people) another chance, say, one more year in which Jesus could do everything possible to nourish the fig tree in the hope of bearing fruit in a year’s time. If they still failed, then God could deal with them and cut them down. In other words, God gives a second, a third or more chances. But we also know that there is a final chance. Though God’s mercy is limitless, there comes a time when by our own free will, we refuse to accept any chance that God offers us. May that time never come!

Hence Lent gives us another chance to bear fruit. I know of a notorious politician, who was known to be corrupt and people detested him. He used goons and guns to terrify people. He allegedly burned down an entire village and murdered his enemies. Finally, the law caught up with him and he ended up in prison. His story does not end there. In jail, zealous Christians made regular visits to him. Since the grace of God could not be chained, soon he became a totally changed person. After serving his jail term he founded a new covenant community, of which he was the servant leader and the preacher. He is the fig tree become alive because he was given one more chance…

I believe the parable today is pointing at me, too. My conscience convicts me that I haven’t been that fruitful a fig tree as I should be.  But the Lord has given me not one, but lots of chances to bear the expected fruit.  He’s giving me another chance to make up for time lost, talents wasted and treasure squandered.  Woe to me if I don’t grab the chance!

Last modified on Friday, 10 May 2013 09:49