God, merciful and just

I love today’s Gospel (Luke 13:1-9), especially the parable of the fig tree.

It’s easy, I think, to get wrapped up in thinking of God as simply a Judge or simply a Forgiver.

He is both, in proportions only His perfection can determine and exact.

This Gospel reminds us that there will be a day of judgment when we will be held accountable for our short lives on earth. We will show God the fruits we produced, with his help, here on earth.

Some will have larger bags of fruit than others. Some will be empty handed.

Jesus reminds us even before telling the parable that “unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” We who think we are on top of things and judge others on earth will be judged in heaven by God.

God is the judge. We are not.

So the day of judgment is a reality. It boggles my mind when I consider the tendency these days to simply not believe in sin. I suppose it’s easier that way.

But this Gospel also reminds us of God’s mercy that we simply don’t have the capacity to fully grasp.

I think that as we reflect on the meaning of the fig tree, we might do well to consider that Jesus truly pulls for us. He fertilizes the ground around us, waters us, and does everything at all possible to facilitate our growth (He died for us!).

We now have the opportunity to produce fruit. One day we will not. While we do, we ought to allow Jesus to fertilize and bring us closer to perfection, so that one year from now, he can say: “Well and good. Let’s keep this going.”