ENFL321

Saturday of the Twenty-NinthWeek in Ordinary Time

The workers of the Lord

And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. (So) cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.'” Lk 13,6-9

When Jesus narrated this parable for the first time, he had in mind not only the people of Israel, whose religious leaders had refused to accept him as Messiah, but the many workers who, over the centuries, would be called to cooperate with his plan of salvation. For this to happen, it is necessary that each brings his results, otherwise he is replaced by others, as in the today’s parable the master menaces to do with that fig tree which does not bear fruit since three years. When, as a young engineer, I was practicing the profession of project manager, at the beginning of a project the company president was used to call me to say: “This is the project to be implemented, this is the budgetwhich you have available and this is the time which you must use. Choose the staff, do a good job and send me every month a report for information about the problems which arise and on how the implementation is going”. An handshake and I was going back to my office to study the project organization chart and to think of the employees, matching to each function the name of a person who had three characteristics: experience, willingness and ability to work along with others. If it happened during the work that a collaborator, whatever it was the reason, did not bring the necessary results for the smooth running of the project, I was forced to remove him from his role assigning to him a different job, and replacing him with another person. The important thing was the implementation of the project, not who were the collaborators and their roles. The today’s parable tells us that the Lord works in the same way, but with one difference: out of the three characteristics necessary to be a good collaborator, the only one interesting to him is the good will. The experience, the ability to work as a group and the qualities needed to do a good job are given by the Holy Spirit. As far as the professional profile is concerned, the Lord prefers the simple and poor people, not the great professionals, because he takes care of the training. It is important only the goodwill. When this fails, the Lord will choose other collaborators, because the plan of salvation of the world cannot be stopped.

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