Repent or Parish

We all have an image of Jesus: Jesus the comforter, Jesus the peacemaker, Jesus the Good Shepherd or Jesus the healer. In the Gospel for the Third Sunday of Lent Jesus is the challenger. 

Luke's Gospel

In Luke’s Gospel (13:1-9), Jesus challenged those who were around him. Some of them believed that the Galileans who had suffered in the tragedies in the temple or who died when the tower at Shiloam, fell must have been greater sinners than they were. Or at least guilty of something. Jesus gave these people a strong warning: repent or parish. 

The Parables of Jesus

Then he told them about a vineyard owner and a gardener in the Parable of the Fig Tree. The owner was frustrated that his tree had not produced any fruit and he wanted it cut down. The gardener suggested that the owner give it one more year, so that he could feed and nurture it. If it still didn’t produce, he would cut it down.


I don’t know what happened to the tree in the end, but I do know that we all have the ability to bear fruit. In order for us to grow, we need nourishment and care. Jesus nourishes us in his words, his actions and in the Eucharist. He teaches us by example how to tend and care for one another. Jesus shows by way of his life how to love, a way that is unconditional. A healthy tree is not self-sufficient; it takes from the ground and the gardener nourishes it with fertilizer. It either grows or dies. We could say the same about us. Through Jesus, we are comforters, healers, peacemakers, and shepherds in the dark. Let’s start producing.