Monday, April 6, 2015

Holy and Great Monday – Are You Bearing Fruit?

At the first Bridegroom Matins of Holy Week, the Church brings our attention to two stories about fruit. In the first story, we hear of a fig tree which is not bearing any fruit. “And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, "Let no fruit grow on you ever again." Immediately the fig tree withered away.” (Matthew 21.19) In the second story, we hear of a landowner who planted a vineyard and lent it out to others to manage until his return. The story tells of what will happen to those who do not properly manage the vineyard. “They said to Him, "He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons." (Matthew 21.41)

In both stories we are warned that bearing fruit matters in our spiritual life. The Church is often referred to as a vineyard, and we are the tenants. We are also the fig tree which is called to bear spiritual fruit in our own lives. Last night during the Bridegroom Matins, we heard, “The Synagogue of the Hebrews by Christ to the fig tree, devoid of spiritual fruits, and He withers it with a curse. Let us flee from a similar fate.” (from the Synaxarion of Holy and Great Monday)

Holy Week is about being vigilant for the return of Christ, but it isn’t just about waiting. It is about be spiritually prepared for the judgment of His return. We will be judged based upon the fruits of our labor. Have we been vigilant and properly managing our spiritual fruits? NOW is the time to take oftentimes painful look at our fig tree and ask, “Are we bearing fruit?” NOW is the chance to reverse the curse, prune the vine, nurture our soul and be prepared to present our harvest to the Lord.

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