Todays Gospel 24.3.19
Gospel Luke 13:1-9 ©
‘Leave the fig tree one more year’
Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’
  He told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”.
This is one of the mostly employed parables in the Gospel. It contains a threat. It is impossible to call it any other way!: but Jesus Christ, most seriously, says to all of us: —«Unless you change your ways, you will all perish as they did» (Lk 13:5).

This shows us two basic things. In the first place, the total seriousness of the Christian commitment. And, secondly, if we do not respect it, as God commands, the possibility of our death, not in this world but, much worse, in the other one: the eternal doom. These two deaths in our text are nothing but examples of another death, that cannot be compared to the first one.

Each one of us will eventually find out how to face this demand of personal change. Nobody is excluded. But if this may worry us, the second part should confort us, instead. The “gardener”, who is Jesus, begs the owner of the vineyard, his Father, to wait another year. And, in the meanwhile, He will do whatever possible (and the impossible, by dying for us) so that the vineyard may bear fruit. That is, we change our ways! This is the message of Lent. Let us, therefore, take it seriously.