October 24, 2020 – Saturday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/102420.cfm)
Recognizing the grace of God in each of us is a call to a personal encounter with the Lord. Paul reminds us in today’s letter to the Ephesians, “Grace was given to each of us, according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” In our encounter with God’s grace, it invites us to grow from our infancy and childishness towards maturity in our knowledge of God and of ourselves. This movement necessarily involves letting go of those unnecessary things, attitudes, vices, behaviors, beliefs and lifestyle that separate us from the grace of God and prevent us from truly encountering and knowing the Lord intimately.
Thus, our encounter with God calls also us to go beyond ourselves even beyond our comforts, beyond our fears and beyond our sins and weaknesses. God calls us to step forward and to come out our own hiding places of insecurities, of anger and hate, of pretensions and compulsive behaviors.
This is basically the invitation of Jesus from the Gospel today. Jesus gave us the parable of the fig tree. In this parable, Jesus tells us that the Father is a God of many chances. God gives us many chances to change our ways and to come nearer to him so that we may find fullness of life with God. This is described to us as Jesus expressed in the parable how the owner would visit the tree. And also, in the person of the gardener, Jesus tells us that indeed, God gives us another chance when we fail and commit mistakes.
The gardener expressed hope to the owner as he asked him to give the fig tree another year. The gardener promised to cultivate it so that it may bear fruit. The gardener saw hope in that tree. He saw the grace in that tree. That gardener is the Spirit dwelling within us, the grace given to us. This tells us now that God never loses hope in us.
Indeed, God always sees hope in each of us. Even though that others may treat us as beyond hope and beyond repair because of our failures and big mistakes in life, but then, God sees hope beyond our hopelessness. That is why, God’s spirit would always entice us to recognize him and encounter him. This is how the grace of God moves us and inspires us to see beyond and discover Christ’s gift of Himself to us, of his gift of salvation and gift of hope.
We may also remember that God makes the move through the people around us, through our friends and loved ones and even strangers who will remind and teach us that God is within us. God’s grace is waiting to be recognized, and waiting to be welcomed and embraced. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR