The Gospel reading from the Mass for Saturday of the 29th Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 13:1-9. 

After exhorting His disciples to soberly assess the states of their souls and to repent before it is too late, Christ rejects the crowd’s suggestions that God only permits those who are grievous sinners to be punished. Rather, Christ reveals that all men are sinners and urges all men to repent or perish. 

The crowd refers to Pilate’s murder of Galileans during the performance of their ceremonial sacrifices to God, a blatant murder that also insults God.  Christ asserts, contrary to common opinion, accidents don’t only happen to those who are in a state of deep sin. He confirms that those murdered by Pilate and those killed by the collapse of the tower in Silo’am are not necessarily worse sinners than others, implying that men should not stigmatize the dead. Instead, Christ warns all men of the urgent need to repent or perish; grisly earthly death comes to some but eternal death comes to all who do not repent. 

Seeking to relieve the fear about the destruction of unrepentant souls, Christ offers a glimpse into the mercy of God in The Parable of the Fig Tree.  The Father (a man who owns a vineyard) who is the master of Creation (the vineyard) observes a man (fig tree) is not serving Him in holiness (bearing figs).  The Father  (the owner) instructs the Son (vinedresser) to destroy (cut down) the unproductive man (the barren fig tree). The Son (vinedresser) pleads with the Father (the owner) to allow Him (Christ) time to exhort (dig about) men to hear the Gospel (manure). Christ, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, offers all men of good will His Divine Mercy. 

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ has omniscience, knowing the reality of God’s influence in worldly events. Divine Prophet, Christ teaches with compelling parables that offer deep insight into the Spiritual Combat. Divine Mercy, Christ urges the Father to have patience with the sins of men. Divine Judge, Christ calls men to repentance and confirms the truth about spiritual death. 

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Many who are stuck in rebellion accuse the Church of being being vengeful, rules-bound and a promoter of guilt. Reflect upon Christ’s abundant mercy, patience and His efforts to draw all men to salvation. 

2) While the Jews in today’s Gospel accepted but were confused about God’s punishment of sin, today men reject or ignore the the idea of sin and punishment. Reflect upon the just Punishment of Sin (CCC 1472-1473) and pray for Christ to help you and all men to fully repent of sin and to give you the grace to grow in holiness and peace. 

3) Men use their gifts to be fruitful in all sorts of worldly activities (e.g. business, finance, sports, hobbies, etc.). Christ calls men to be fruitful in spiritual things.  Reflect on the need for Fruitfulness (CCC 736, 961, 1108, 1129, 1521, 1724, 1804, 1852, 2074, 2731) and pray for Christ to draw you to Himself and allow you to bear much fruit for the Kingdom.