The WORD in Other Words by Fr Renato Tampol SVD for Saturday 29th Week in Ordinary Time
When the Lord wants to stress a point in his teaching ministry, he uses stories that would facilitate his audience’s understanding. In our gospel today, the Lord uses the parable of the fig tree. Like other parables, the parable of the fig tree has something to do with our Christian life.
As Catholic Christians, whenever we worship God in the Eucharist, we make the sign of the cross three times during the proclamation of the gospel. The cross on the forehead signifies understanding the gospel being proclaimed. The cross on the mouth signifies sharing what one understands. The cross on the chest signifies living what one understands and shares.
It starts with the mind down to the heart. When the gospel reaches the heart, it transforms the person to be a man/woman for others. One becomes other-centered not self-centered. He/she also becomes service-oriented rather than ego-centered. And when one starts to realize the importance of others more than himself/herself, it signals the beginning of an authentic Christian life.
This is what the farmer wants of the fig tree in his farm – that it should bear fruit destined for others. If it does not bear fruit, it should be cut down because it is eating space in his farm. This is so with Christians. Christians are asked to bear fruit through being good and doing good deeds to others. And what standards would measure one’s ability to fulfill his/her responsibilities as a Christian? It is the Beatitudes (Mt. 5:1-12). The Beatitudes sum up the totality of meaningful Christian living.
– Fr. Renato Tampol, SVD (DWC, San Jose, Occ. Mindoro)