Gospel – Luke 13:1-9

Some people told Jesus about the Galileans

whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices.

Jesus 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.’”

Reflection by Jules “Bud” Knight, FSC

“Between You and me there is no between.” Take some minutes in quiet and let this mantra about your relationship with God resonate in the silence of your heart. Experience the moment just as it is, connected to the One by breath. Try as you may, you can never be separate!

In the first part of today’s gospel, Luke presents with an unambiguous choice of repentance – a change of mind. Over the years haven’t we grown tired, possibly immune, to the punitive implication of repentance? The mystery of relationship with God is beyond chastisement. Repentance may be an invitation to change our minds about our unworthiness and see ourselves as truly being the apple of God’s eye.

The second part of the gospel presents yet another parable revealing intuitive wisdom. The barren fig tree is a paradigm of our banality in view of God’s patience – a second chance. The barren tree may simply be a second chance to just rest in God’s patient presence without any pressure to become more worthy.

Intimacy with God is ever-present; there is no between. “The great insight is not attained when we ponder or infer the beyond from the here. God is not a hypothesis derived from logical assumptions, but an immediate insight, self-evident as light… All we ought to do is to let the insight be… It comes when drifting in the wilderness, having gone astray, we suddenly behold the immutable (presence).” [Man Is Not Alone by Abraham Heschel]


Time after time I came to Your gate with

raised hands, asking for more and yet more.

You gave and gave, now in slow measure, now

in sudden excess.

I took some, and some things I let drop;

some lay heavy on my hands; some I made into

playthings and broke them when I tired; till the

wrecks and the hoard of your gifts grew immense,

hiding you, and the ceaseless expectation wore my heart out.

“Take, O take” has now become my cry.

Hold, my hands; raise me from the

still-gathering heap of Your gifts into the bare

infinity of Your uncrowded presence. [Tagore]

May the light of God’s presence shine on your Lenten desires!