Friday, March 29, 2019

Grace of time & goodness

Image result for Luke 13:1-9
Sunday's Gospel landowner is justifiably perturbed at the fruitless condition he discovers, the man does not simply fly into a rage. 

First, he presents his observations; then he expresses his disappointment; and finally he proposes his solution to the gardener, his servant. The landowner argues that he has given this recalcitrant fig three years to produce fruit, and it has failed. The significance of this three-year hiatus is probably based on the mandate given in Leviticus 19:23, which forbids gathering fruit from newly-planted trees for the first three years. Having given this fig tree its bare minimum allotment in which to prove its worth, the landowner decides enough is enough. "Cut it down," he orders, and then further justifies the logic and rightness of his decision by rhetorically posing to the gardener, "Why should it be wasting the soil?"

But instead of letting the land-owner's question go unanswered, this gardener offers another possible solution. His tone is respectful, but this servant is obviously on the side of the fig tree. The gardener's solution is to offer the fig tree both the grace of more time and the goodness of a richer environment.