In our Holy Week liturgies over these next three days, and then again on Good Friday, we will be presented with the figure of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah. “Here is my servant,” says the Lord. Who will do what? Establish justice in the earth.
Whatever else the parable of the barren fig tree means it means at least this: As long as Jesus has breath in his lungs he won’t give up on us. In fact, when push comes to shove, he’ll give up the breath in his lungs on the cross in order that his body might become dung for our barren souls.
The Christian hope is not that one day we will be set free from our bodies but rather that our bodies will one day be transformed by the power of the risen and living Christ.
Our readings today are all about the generosity and kindness of God that transform us from scared, anxious, angry, defensive people into people whose lives resemble in some small and imperfect way the generosity and kindness that they have received. “...for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
For you and I then, a blessed life has less to do with what belongs to us and more to do with our relation to Jesus Christ. Is our life connected to his risen life? Do we trust him and what he has accomplished for us in his death and resurrection?