In the Gospel reading today Jesus tells a parable about an orchard owner and his fig tree. The tree was not bearing any fruit and the owner had decided it was time to cut it down. However, the gardener talked the owner into giving the tree one more year indicating he would do his best to bring the tree to fruitfulness.
During this season of Lent we can use this parable to look at our own lives and ask; “have I been bearing any fruit?” The fruit Jesus wants from us is of a spiritual nature. Perhaps this seems to be the hardest fruit to bear. We often look at our lives in what we produce or earn in a physical sense. Am I productive at work and are we getting ahead financially? These are often the things we think about rather than producing any spiritual fruit. But maybe it’s time we look at that aspect of our lives.
How do we bear spiritual fruit? I believe we do this by our prayer life. Has your prayer life been active and growing? Or have you been stagnant with little time spent in conversation with God? Have you helped your children learn their prayers or made sure they attended Mass every weekend? Have you spent some time praying for others, those you know are in a difficult situation, or for the world? These are some of the ways we can bear spiritual fruit.
Now, during this holy season I urge you to spend some extra time in prayer. There is certainly a lot to pray for; the end of the war in Ukraine, the many refugees from this conflict, the end of legalized abortion, the conversion of those who have left the Church just to name a few. Don’t tire of bringing your needs to God, He never tires of hearing from us. Perhaps we will look back one day and say; God answered my prayers! Perhaps the extra care we, the gardeners, give to our own orchard will cause our own fig tree to bear abundant fruit.