In this Sunday’s Gospel, we hear Jesus calling us to repentance from our sins. This is a universal call, to all men and women of his time and ours. Without doubt, Jesus’ preaching sometimes can be hard for us to hear: “But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” (Luke 13:3). And during this time of Lent we are made more aware of our sins and defects. But we should never become discouraged, even when we realize how sinful we are. Jesus is, we might say, the Good Gardener, who looks after our growth with patience and attentive care. As we heard in the Gospel, when the owner of the garden did not find fruit on the fig tree, the Good Gardener made this appeal: “Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down” (Luke 13:8).
May we always be filled with hope during this season of Lent—this holy time of conversion and preparation for the Resurrection of the Lord. Our Lord cares for our changes of heart with his grace, and guides us through authentic repentance and spiritual growth. Let us trust in his cultivating guidance now and always.