October 26, 2019

“The gardener 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 13:8-9)

The gospel passage opens with references to events known to Jesus’ listeners ― an act of sacrilege on the part of Pilate and the tragic deaths of a number of Galileans in the collapse of a tower at Siloam ― both underscoring the urgent need for repentance in order to be worthy of the coming reign of God.

The parable of the barren fig tree that follows is a powerful teaching on the patience of God with those whose lives do not yet show signs of repentance. A property owner comes looking for fruit on a fig tree for three years, only to leave disappointed. He determines to have it cut down. But the gardener intervenes and implores him to wait one more year, during which he will give the tree and the soil around it extra care.

It is reassuring to know that, amid our spiritual struggles and sluggishness in committing to the newness of life the kingdom requires of us, we have a loving intercessor with the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ. More grace is given, more time allowed; all in the hope that in the end our lives will bear the desired fruit of repentance and holiness. God is so good!

Recall a moment in your life when you experienced God’s patience.

Let us pray:

Lord, thank you for being so incredibly patient with me as I struggle to understand and to find my way. Amen.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)


About Anthony Schueller, SSS

Father Anthony Schueller was the Provincial Superior of the Province of Saint Ann of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and the editor of Emmanuel.