Cultivating a Fig tree


Saturday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 478

‘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.'”

There are several different aspects involved in the relationship between God and man. One is worship, another obedience, and the third to bear fruit; a successful relationship is a fruitful one. While parables contain many different points, and one can reach as many conclusions as their are days, perhaps one point brought to light in this parable of the fig tree is patience. At first the owner is frustrated by the fig tree that bears no fruit and wishes it cut down. The owner is justified, his reason for possessing the tree is fruit.The owner though knows little about trees, he does not know at which season a fig tree becomes fruitful.The tree does not become fruitful for three to five years, and produces two harvests per year.Harvesting the fruit requires patience and God is patient with us.The second point is that sometimes it is not what is done to the tree that matters, but instead what is done to its surroundings; to produce fruit the fig tree like us requires proper cultivation. For the tree this is tilling the soil, fertilizing, and watering.For us to produce fruit we too need the proper surroundings, the proper guidance, a culture that is supportive of bearing fruit. To often in society these two things are ignored, patience and cultivation, or nurturing, or simply culture.How quick are some to cut someone down because they are no longer productive simply because they do not know what they might produce? How many people are cut down because they are from an environment that stunts their productivity? Ignorance and impatience can affect fruitful rewards as much as a tree or a person. Bad soil an hinder the production of good fruit in a tree just as poverty and crime and a detrimental society can obliterate a fruitful person.

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