God’s Purpose for Planting Me

Luke 13: 1-9
Eph 4: 7-16 / Ps 122: 1-5

For three years now I have been looking for figs on this tree and I have found none. Cut it down, why should it use up the ground?
(Luke 13:7)

May the Lord show us how to serve
With compassion and true leadership;
With His Spirit help us to deserve
The Commission of His Stewardship.

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them — do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ ”

Reflection

For three years, during my stint as Mission Director of our Brotherhood, my wife and I gave much of our time and energies in going to our BCBP outreach in Gen. Santos city to attend the twice monthly breakfast fellowships there as well as the weekly afternoon seminars called Christian Life Programs that were held for building up the membership of the community. The CLPs ran for nine weeks, and normally it would be getting dark when we headed back home with the mission team on the two-hour trip to Davao city. During those three years, we were able to hold five Christian Life Programs which ‘harvested’ a total of 100 new graduates for the outreach, half of whom are now active members of the community. As head of Mission, we were also responsible for overseeing two other older outreaches in Digos and Tagum cities.

When our term as Mission Director couple ended, we no longer went to Gen. Santos city as often as we used to, but whenever we do, to accompany a speaker or attend a special occasion, it never fails to enlighten us to see our brothers and sisters there still full of joy in their new life with the Lord.

All of us who are called to go on mission for the Lord experience a vigorous spiritual purpose in our lives. There is a strong feeling that we are at the cutting edge of what Christian renewal is all about.

Many in the community think that attending seminars, group meetings and prayer assemblies are enough to be considered active members. But these are just part of the growth and maturity of our commitment. What is the sense in raising a healthy tree if it does not bear fruits? It is better to cut it down than have it using up the fertility of the earth. If we have received a commission from the Lord, and our formation is complete, then it is time to step out and share our new life with others who are still searching for some meaning in their lives. And one does not have to go to far-flung outreaches to serve God and His community. He or she can take a cue from a brother who rarely fails to invite at least one first-timer to the brotherhood’s weekly breakfasts. He doesn’t mind paying for their breakfasts either; for him it’s just part of tithing. And for his efforts, the Lord has made his professional career in the insurance business bear fruits abundantly.

May we always cling to You, Lord Jesus, our True Vine, for You nourish us with Your Word and make us produce fruit that is pleasing to the Father. Amen.

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