March 20, 2022
March 19 is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We honor Joseph as the husband of Mary and the earthly father of Jesus, as our protector and defender. Joseph took Jesus to the synagogue. Jesus is remembered as the carpenter’s son. Perhaps another skill Joseph taught Jesus is caring for the vineyard and orchard trees in and around their home in Nazareth. In the Gospel according to John, Jesus will use the image of vine and branches to speak of our relationship with him. In our Gospel today, according to St. Luke, Jesus will tell the parable of the fig tree.
The fig tree in the orchard has been well cared for yet it yields no fruit. The owner suggests cutting it down, but the gardener asks for more time. “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.” The parable is a warning and, by analogy, refers to God’s forbearance and patience with us. Lent is the time for our spiritual care and growth – for tending the fig tree, for tilling the soil and for trimming its branches -- to produce a rich yield of fruit.
The message of the of the parable is God is a God of second chances for those willing to repent. I welcome Greg Wasinski and Carrie Ford who are leading us in reflection and song in our Lenten Retreat: “Unconditionally,” March 21-22-23, 7 PM in the Church.
Second Sunday of Lent C
Fourth Sunday of Lent C