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Vatican City, Mar 24, 2019 / 07:09 am (CNA).- The mercy of God is not an invitation to “spiritual laziness,” but requires a sincere and prompt response from those who want to grow in holiness, Pope Francis said Sunday.
“Despite the barrenness which sometimes marks our existence, God has patience and offers us the possibility of changing and making progress on the path of good,” the pope said March 24.
Chance - Conversion - God - Mercy - Laziness
However, the chance for conversion is not limitless, he said. “We can rely heavily on God’s mercy, but without abusing it. We must not justify spiritual laziness but increase our commitment to respond promptly to this mercy with sincerity of heart.”
In his address before the Angelus, the pope reflected on the call to conversion, as depicted in the parable of the fig tree in the day’s Gospel.
Man - Tree - Vineyard - Fruit - Years
In the parable, a man decides to cut down a fig tree in his vineyard because it has not produced any fruit in three years, and he does not want to expend the resources of the land on this barren tree.
But when the man speaks to the farmer who works in the vineyard about cutting down the tree, the farmer asks him to wait one year more and that during that time, he will cultivate and fertilize the land around the fig tree so that it may have the possibility to bear fruit in the future.
Represent - Francis - Owner - Land - God
“What does this parable represent?” Francis asked. The owner of the land represents God the Father, and the farmer represents Jesus, while the fig tree “is a symbol of indifferent and arid humanity,” he said.
Like the farmer, Jesus intervenes on behalf of humanity, asking for a little more time for “the fruits of love and justice” to grow.
Fig - Tree - Owner
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