Cây vả được trồng nơi vườn nho là được hưởng những chăm sóc đặc biệt dành cho cây nho. Thế nhưng, nó không xứng đáng với ưu đãi này vì chỉ có lá xanh tươi mà không sinh trái ngon quả ngọt. Cũng vậy, cây vả mà chỉ có lá xanh tươi thôi là hình tượng của những Ki-tô hữu bằng lòng khi không làm điều gì tiêu cực: không làm gì hại ai, cũng chẳng lường gạt, áp bức người khác. Người Ki-tô hữu được đặc ân ở trong vườn nho Hội Thánh, với đầy đủ những phương tiện nên thánh như Lời Chúa, ân sủng qua các bí tích, còn phải sinh trái ngọt là việc lành phúc đức. Nên thánh trong ơn gọi Ki-tô hữu là có nếp sống tích cực làm cho xã hội, môi trường sống quanh mình tốt đẹp hơn, thấm nhuần tinh thần Tin Mừng hơn. (5phút Lời Chúa)
We believe in Lent that we enter a holy time in our year and visit a holy place in ourselves where the fire of God’s love should burn brightly within us. We are offered these weeks to re-examine our values, family history, commitment, fidelity and growth so as to chart how best we can grow old with God. To do this sometimes requires facing up to our sinful behaviour and making choices to change our lives. We can only do this when we trust that the fire of God’s love is not about destruction, but compassion, forgiveness and a second chance.
Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Indian nation, humbly and frankly acknowledges that, when he was fifteen, he stole a little piece of gold from his brother. A few days later, he felt very guilty and decided to come clean by confessing to his father. So, he took a paper, wrote down his fault, sincerely asked his father for forgiveness and promised never to repeat the offence. Taking that note to the bedroom of his father, the young Gandhi found him ill in bed. Very timidly he handed the note to his father without saying a word. His father sat up in bed and began reading the note. As he read it, the senior Gandhi was so deeply moved by the honesty, sincerity and courage of his son that tears began to stream from his eyes. This so touched the son that he burst into tears as well. Instinctively both father and son wrapped their arms around each other and wordlessly shared their mutual admiration and joy. This notable experience made such an impact on Gandhi that years later he would say, “Only the person who has experienced this kind of forgiving love can know what it is.” – This precisely is what happened when the repentant prodigal son returned home. Such is God’s merciful forgiveness and benevolent love for all who resolutely turn over a new leaf, especially during this Lenten season. (quoted by Fr. Botelho).