A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Friday, June 01, 2007

Fruit for all seasons

In today’s Gospel (Mark 11:11-26), our Lord shrivels a fig tree upon which he found no fruit.

But the Gospel writer notes that “it was not the time for figs.”

The possible implications of this are disturbing. Was the fig tree cursed unfairly by Christ for not bearing fruit out of season? If so, what hope have we of surviving Christ’s judgment?

Perhaps it was not the season for figs, yet our Lord had reason to expect figs to be there.

This incident brings to mind St. Paul’s exhortation to St. Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2:

Preach the word,
be urgent in season
and out of season,
convince, rebuke, and exhort,
be unfailing in patience
and in teaching.

The fruit that we are to bear as Christians must not just be the results that come naturally or easily.

Indeed, the most important fruit of our words and actions comes when such words and actions should be futile and fruitless, for such out-of-season fruit is most clearly the work of grace.

By the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit, we can bear fruit even when it seems that we should not, even when our words and actions seem hopeless.

We must therefore "be unfailing in patience... in teaching", and in charity: letting ourselves always be instruments of God’s grace at all times and in every season.