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Faith Daily | 22 October 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p593

Almighty God,

your Son has opened for us

a new and living way into your presence:

give us pure hearts and steadfast wills

to worship you in spirit and truth;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.


GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 13: 1-9


At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. 4Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”


6Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ 8He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. 9If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”


GOSPEL REFLECTION: Leanne Hallas


This reading is made up of two distinct sections. Firstly, the exhortation to repent or perish. Secondly, the parable of the barren fig tree. These two sections are meant to teach us two valuable lessons.


Pilate possibly killed the Galileans because of their continuing rebellion against Rome. The Jewish workers who were killed at Siloan were probably being forced to work on the building of the Roman aqueduct when the structure collapsed. The Pharisees had preached that all these people deserved to die because of their actions relating to the Romans.


Jesus on the other hand preached that neither of these groups should be blamed for their calamity. Their death was not a sign of either their sinfulness or their righteousness. Everyone must die; it is part of being human. But unless you repent you will perish. Instead of blaming others, everyone should look to their own day of judgement. Jesus promises that those who believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

In his parable Jesus tells of a barren, fig tree. In the Old Testament a fruitful tree was symbolic of Godly living. (Psalm 1:3 and Jeremiah 17:7-8). Jesus is warning his listeners that they cannot continue to take up valuable time and space and still produce nothing for the patient gardener.


The warning for us all is that although God is infinitely patient and gives us all special care and treatment we must not continue to give nothing in return. We must respond to God's patient care and begin to bear the fruit that God has created us to produce.


FINAL PRAYER


Psalm 14:2 From heaven the Lord looks down to see if anyone is wise enough to search for Him.

Psalm 14:5 God is with those who obey Him.

Psalm 16:8 I keep the Lord in mind always. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Amen.

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