Feast of St. John Paul II | iPray with the Gospel
Jesus told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?’ And he answered him, ‘Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”
Nothing was missing from the tree (sun light, soil, water, care…) except fruit. It had everything it needed to give fruit except determination. It decided to produce leaves, to grow and give shade… but no more than that. It wanted all the advantages of being in the vineyard without all the responsibilities that were expected of it. It wanted to do part of it, but not everything. Our Lord also has been patient with us. If we don’t give the fruit that He expects from us, He prunes us like a tree (although unlike a tree, we find this painful) and He gives us more graces (fertiliser) so that we can start bearing fruit. Because He chose us to give fruit, fruit of holiness – and we have all we need to bear that fruit. No one else can be blamed for my lack of holiness: neither the devil, nor the environment, nor any other circumstance: If I am not ‘holy’ it’s just because I don’t ‘wholly’ want to be.
During a catechism class the teacher was explaining to the children that if they wanted to become saints, they had to pray every day. ‘Every single day?’ asked one of the boys. ‘Why, of course’, replied the teacher, ‘Do you want to be a saint?’ ‘Yes’, answered the boy, ‘but without overdoing it!’ This boy could have been answered by St Thérèse of Lisieux: “You cannot be half a saint. You must be a whole saint or no saint at all”.
It’s time to make up your mind. You are now talking to God. If you want to be a saint tell Him right now because He is looking for volunteers. Make your mind up, because ‘indecision’ is a ‘decision’ already. “Do not be satisfied with mediocrity” (St John Paul II). “Why don’t you give yourself to God once and for all… really… NOW!” (St Josemaría). Mary, Queen of all Saints, help me to give fruits of holiness, because I ‘wholly’ want to be ‘holy’.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).