21 Mar Thursday
Luke’s gospel text for Year C, seems very strange in some ways. Just after a series of parables on a variety of topics, this unusual awareness of the daily news interrupts the teachings, but becomes a teaching on the nature of sin, forgiveness, and restoration to productive fruitfulness. Jesus typically uses agricultural imagery to teach.
Certain televangelist preachers have been known to make comments on natural disasters and the like, suggesting that these things were God’s punishment. I take away from Jesus’ comments here that one should hesitate to draw such hasty conclusions, yet this seems to be our human tendency. Just before this insertion, Luke 12, 54-56 addresses the problem of reading the signs of the times. Basically, us humans aren’t very good at it. Nor are we the best at making judgments, for example, the orchard owner caves in to the gardener regarding the fig tree, who knows it better than the owner, because he has the quality of knowledge of fig tree and the quality of tender care, as is shown in vs. 8. He cultivates it and manures it.
This is the life of the disciples — cultivation of the gospel and the fertilizer of God’s grace. Then the fruits of the Holy Spirit will be borne. This is really the first step of evangelization, to prepare one’s self for the work.