FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
23 OCTOBER 2021
29TH Saturday of Ordinary Time
Some people told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. He said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them— do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”
And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply,
‘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’.” (Luke 13: 1-9)
How shall I live this Word?
There was a widespread conviction in Israel that there was a strict correlation between illness and sin, between misfortune and human sins. The tragic facts that are cited in this Gospel passage are taken by Jesus as an opportunity to refute these convictions. The Teacher seems to say that these misfortunes are events that happen in everyone’s life. The sins of those who die because of this or another tragedy or through sickness, are no different than those of anyone else. However, one thing is inevitable. If we do not become converted, we will all die in the same way! What is the meaning of this admonition? I believe that Jesus wants to remind us on of an obvious thing, even though it is not always present in the awareness of the disciples. It is that life must continually find us committed to cultivating the relationships that build us, the one with God, with our neighbor, and with the world, so that the fruit the Lord expects will come. It is the moment of conversion, the personal, community, and pastoral ones. At death it will no longer be possible.
Lord, sustain with Your grace our personal and community commitment for conversion so that we may contribute to the transformation of the world according to Your plan of love. So be it!
The Voice of Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 27
“I dream of a ‘missionary option’, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation. The renewal of structures demanded by pastoral conversion can only be understood in this light: as part of an effort to make them more mission-oriented, to make ordinary pastoral activity on every level more inclusive and open, to inspire in pastoral workers a constant desire to go forth and in this way to elicit a positive response from all those whom Jesus summons to friendship with himself.”
E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.sanbiagio.org firstname.lastname@example.org Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com Comment by Fr. Joseph Tilocca