Mature and Bear Fruit
The Gospel today reminds us of Lent’s call to conversion and repentance. Luke tells us that some among the crowds report to Jesus a massacre of Galileans by Pilate. The scene presented here is one in which Jesus challenges the traditional view that if something bad happens to you then it must be some form of punishment from God. Jesus rejects this idea and instead tells his listeners that any experience of hardship should be a reminder to us of the need to repent. This idea is then put beside the image of God as the gardener who wants to give his plants all the help they need to mature and bear fruit. This gospel also gets to the heart of what Lent is all about. True repentance is not about being obsessed with sin – it is about recognising where God is at work in our lives and responding to him.
Throughout his journey to Jerusalem, Jesus has been teaching about the Kingdom of God. In this parable, we find an image of God’s patience and hopefulness as he prepares his Kingdom. God calls us to repentance because He is merciful. He delays punishment and tends to us so that we may yet bear the fruit he desires from us. This, then, is our reason for hope: Not only does God refuse to abandon us, he chooses to attend to us even when we show no evidence of his efforts. Let us give careful attention to the call to repentance; Let us begin afresh and be reconciled with God and one another to be part of the whole body of Christ to establish the kingdom of peace and love.