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Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Vine_Dresser_and_the_Fig_Tree_(Le_vigneron_et_le_figuier)_-_James_Tissot - Wikimedia Commons

Pope Explains Parable of Fig Tree

‘Who do the personalities of this parable represent?’

As a follower of Christ you may not think you have anything in common with a fig tree, but as the Holy Father explained March 24, 2019, there is a message for the faithful in the parable of the fig tree in the 13th chapter of Like.

The Pope’s explanation came before praying the noonday Angelus with the large crowd of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square. The parable is simple to tell.  A master has a barren fig tree and thinks about cutting it down. But the vinedresser asks for time to water and fertilize the tree and make it productive. Who do these characters represent?

“The master represents God the Father and the vinedresser is an image of Jesus, while the fig tree is the symbol of indifferent and arid humanity. Jesus intercedes with the Father in favor of humanity — and He does so always —  and asks Him to wait and to grant Him more time so that in it the fruits of love and justice can sprout. The fig tree, which the master of the parable wants to extirpate, represents a barren existence incapable of giving, of doing good.

“It’s the symbol of one who lives for himself, satiated and tranquil, couched in his own comfort, incapable of turning his look and heart to those around him who are in a condition of suffering, of poverty and of hardship. Opposed to this attitude of egoism and spiritual sterility is the great love of the vinedresser for the fig tree: he makes the master wait, he has patience; he knows how to wait and he dedicates his time and work to it. He promises the master to take particular care of that unhappy tree.”

The Holy Father concludes by reminding listeners that Lent is a time when we are called to conversion. It is a time to correct troubles in our lives and move forward on a path of goodness.

The Holy Father’s Full Commentary

About Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a husband, father, grandfather, writer, and communications consultant. He also likes playing the piano and fishing. He writes from the Chicago area.

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