Welcoming the Holy

Here we invite you to take time for yourself in personal prayer. The following spiritual reflection offers words and images which we hope will evoke for you an experience of God. 


 

Opening Prayer

Bless the Lord, oh my soul and all my being bless God’s holy name. Bless the Lord, oh my soul and forget not all God’s goodness. God pardons all my sins, heals all my ills, redeems my life from destruction, and crowns me with kindness and compassion.

Reading

Luke 13: 6 -9

Jesus told this story: There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit, he found none. He said to the gardener, "For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down! Why should it exhaust the soil?" The gardener said to him I reply, "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 then you can cut it down."

 

Reflection

As the days grow warmer and brighter; as the robins return bringing the hope of Spring, we turn our efforts to cleaning up our gardens and preparing the soil for planting, with the hope of a fruitful harvest. Luke reminds us with this story, that our God, also, is a gardener expecting from us abundant fruit. The loving Father of Jesus watches over us like the gardener in this parable of the Fig Tree, a fig tree that seems only to be taking up space in this orchard. It has been barren for three years and the owner is tired of waiting for his figs. He wants the tree out of his orchard. But the gardener has compassion for the barren tree and asks to give the poor tree another chance. He suggests that with a little more patience this tree might blossom. He will loosen the soil around it, add some fertilizer and prune its branches, then perhaps this year there will be figs. What Luke is trying to tell us is that our God is like this. Just as the gardener hopes for change, so God watches over each of us, looking into our hearts and waits for a change of attitude, a conversion of heart. And God knows that conversion takes time, requires patience. As an excellent gardener, God calls us to loosen the hardness of our hearts, to apply the fertilizer of grace, to prune the selfishness of our actions. Each of us is created to do more than take up space in the garden. Each of us is called to bear abundant fruit. Each Lent we are invited to reflect on the fruitfulness of our lives. Perhaps I am that fig tree walking the path of conversion this Lent to the fullness of life, to the victor and joy of Easter.

Reflection Questions

What does my life need for healthy growing?

What work of pruning do I need to do to bear more fruit?

 

Closing Prayer

Patient God, gardener of all the living. You are the source of every good fruit, renewing the soil of our lives. Tend all aspects of our lives, offering essential nutrients for healthy growth. Transform our hearts to bear abundant fruit. We make our prayer in Jesus name. Amen

Sisters of Saint Joseph of Rochester

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