Father Paul: The Lord be with you.
Congregation: And also with you.
Father Paul: A reading from the Gospel of According to Luke. Glory to you, Lord:
A man had a fig tree in his vineyard, but it did not bear fruit. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, “For three years, I’ve been looking for fruit on this tree, and for three years I’ve found nothing. It’s a waste of my land. Cut it down!” “Sir,” the worker replied, “leave it alone for one more year. Let me dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, all is well. If not, then cut it down.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Father Paul pauses.
Father Paul (shouting): Repent!
He slams hand down on the podium, and points out over the audience.
Father Paul: Repent or perish! That’s Luke 13. Tough to swallow, huh? But like all parables, this one’s open to interpretation. Was the worker just being lazy? Stalling? “I’ll get to it, boss, next year. Mañana.”
The congregation laughs.
Father Paul: Or did the worker have a secret? A secret—that only our faith sustains us over time.
Father Paul looks over at Nathan. Then he continues—
Father Paul: The owner doesn’t have his hands in the soil. Only the worker is there every day in the dirt, with the tree. And faith that God will support that skill, and maybe, in a year’s time, the tree will bear fruit. He doesn’t look for the easy way out. He doesn’t say, “Oh, why would the Lord do this to me? If only he would give me a sign. If only he’d give us a miracle.” But the worker doesn’t ask for a miracle. He has faith in himself and faith in God, and he only asks for time.
Nathan and Father Paul look at each other, and then Father Paul closes the homily:
Father Paul: Let us proclaim our faith. We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. . .
(Image: TNT via TV Guide) leveragectgy