Dear People of God,

“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.’” Luke 13: 6-9

How long has it been since you bore the fruit of the Holy Spirit? How long since you allowed the “gardener” to cultivate you? Prune you? Prayer. Fasting. Sacrifice. These are not easy things to do consistently. We struggle with difficulties and trials in our life that make us want to turn back to our old ways. But it is with gentle and loving care, we are pruned by these moments; cleansed; becoming always more ready to be with our Lord and Savior. The trials in our life are the sharp shears of the gardener. We are cut and altered and it can be a traumatic process—but shortly after, as with a plant, we grow and thrive in our new shape. Just as a plant will flower and bear more fruit, we too will blossom in a new richness and fruitful faith life.

When Easter comes will you be ready? Pray that you may bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Keep fasting. Keep praying. Easter is coming.

Have a blessed week as you fast and pray!