REFLECTION CAPSULE – October 23, 2021: Saturday

“Responding positively to God, and making the ‘drama’ of our lives a beautiful and a witnessing one!”

(Based on Rom 8:1-11 and Lk 13:1-9 – Saturday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

Good dramas produce a great visual treat and also leaves a lasting impression on the mind.

One of the characteristics of a good drama is the way it concludes…
The conclusion should make the audience to identify with some characters of the story and leave a personal touch for every viewer.

One of the best dramatist who has a special niche for such effective conclusions is St Luke, the Evangelist!

St Luke in his Gospel presents many dramatic stories of Jesus, with a special style of conclusion…that leaves its readers to wonder and ponder…to think and act…!

St Luke, in the Gospel of the Day presents one such parable…the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree.

What is this conclusion style of St Luke that we are talking about?

It can be termed as a “Dramatic Concluding Suspense for Action!”

This “Dramatic Concluding Suspense for Action” has three elements in it…

  1. It is dramatic: It has some impressive and spectacular elements to wonder and ponder.
  2. It has a conclusion, full of suspense: The conclusion remains unknown and high curiosity is generated.
  3. It calls for action: The conclusion impels viewers to reflect on life and to do some action.

Such parables of “Dramatic Concluding Suspense for Action ” are a characteristic feature in St Luke’s Gospel:

The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10: 29-35)
The Good Samaritan left the man at the Inn and said he would come back to pay the extra denarii…

Did the Good Samaritan come back? It’s unknown!
But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

What will you do, if you are the Good Samaritan?

The Incident of the Rich Young Fool (Lk 18: 18-23)
Jesus invited the man to sell his possessions, distribute it to the poor and then follow Him…

Did the young man do what Jesus told him to? It’s unknown!
But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

What will you do, if you are the rich man?

The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15: 11-32)
The Father, at the end of the story, invites the elder brother to join in the celebration of the Prodigal son coming back…

Did the elder son join the celebration? It’s unknown!
But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

What will you do, if you are the elder brother?

The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Lk 16: 19-31)
The Rich Man pleads to Abraham concerning the future of his five brothers.

Did those five brothers meet with the same fate or did they live a better and virtuous life? It’s unknown!
But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

What will you do, if you are one among the five brothers?

The Cleansing of the Ten Lepers (Lk 17: 11-19)
The Lord enquires the Samaritan leper about the nine other lepers who also had been healed.

Did any of those nine lepers come back to the Lord to thank Him? It’s unknown!
But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

What will you do, if you are one of the nine lepers?

The Parable in the Gospel – the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree – follows this style of “Dramatic Concluding Suspense for Action”.

The man who had the fig tree planted in his orchard, comes looking for fruit….
But finding no fruit, he gets disappointed and orders it to be cut off…
But the gardener pleads for another year to cultivate and fertilize it….

Did the Owner allow for another year?
Did the tree produce fruit after one year?
Did the tree continue to live or was it cut down?

All these answers are unknown!

But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

If I am the fig tree in the Parable and the God is the Owner, then we have some things to ponder on…

God who has planted me in His orchard, comes looking for fruit…
Do I produce the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5: 22-23)

If He doesn’t find the fruits, he gets disappointed and warns us….
We have been blessed with many graces and we are expected to live in response to those favours of the Lord. But if we don’t, it causes pain to God, who is our Loving Father.

Do I waste away God’s graces in my life and disappoint the expectations of my Father in Heaven?

But the gardener pleads for another year to cultivate and fertilize it…
The Lord doesn’t give up on us. He seeks to give us another chance…

Am I willing to accept to have the ground around me cultivated and weed out the unbecoming things like sinful tendencies and bad habits in and around me?
Am I willing to be fertilized & be nourished by His Word & His Body and Blood in the Eucharist & thus gain strength to produce fruits?

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree has a “Dramatic Concluding Suspense for Action”.

Our lives too often resemble this Barren Fig Tree…

The questions are posed before us…

The answers are to be answered by us.

And the onus is now placed on we, the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

Let us also understand that human tragedies and personal misfortunes are to be understood as God’s manifestations of Love for us – to have our lives set clearly on our priorities for God and His Kingdom

They are not to evoke fear or elements of judging

Rather, should prompt us to take life more seriously, and to make Real Repentance and live a Holier Lives.

Let us respond positively & with God, the director, make the drama of our lives a beautiful and a witnessing one!

May the words of the Saint of the Day – St John of Capistrano, who is called as the “Soldier Saint” – the patron of lawyers and judges, inspire us:
“Those who are called to the table of the Lord must glow with the brightness that comes from the good example of a praiseworthy and blameless life.

They must completely remove from their lives the filth and uncleanness of vice.
The brightness of their wisdom must make them like the Light of the world that brings light to others!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CHURCH – PEOPLE OF GOD

“At all times and in every race, anyone who fears God and does what is right has been acceptable to him.
He has, however, willed to make men holy and save them, not as individuals without any bond or link between them, but rather to make them into a people who might acknowledge him and serve him in holiness.
He therefore chose the Israelite race to be his own people and established a covenant with it.

He gradually instructed this people…. All these things, however, happened as a preparation for and figure of that new and perfect covenant which was to be ratified in Christ… the New Covenant in his blood; he called together a race made up of Jews and Gentiles which would be one, not according to the flesh, but in the Spirit.” (CCC #781)

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