The Gospel reading for this week is Luke’s account of the barren fig tree.  The problem of the fig tree was that it was taking up space and not producing anything.  It was taking out more than it was giving back.  We are all in debt to life.  We came into this world at the peril of someone else’s life and could not have survived without love and care.  We also inherit a civilization and a Christian community which we did not create.  While we have taken a lot out of life, what have we put back in?  The calling of the Christian is to put back in more than we have taken out.  However, there is something beautiful at the end of this parable.  Although the fig tree has given no fruit in 3 years, the gardener wants to give it another chance.  A fig tree takes 3 years to reach maturity.  If it doesn’t produce fruit in 3 years it probably never will.  But, with extra help and fertilizer, it may!  God is the gardener and he wants to give it a fourth year – just in case.  If we fail in our normal life-times, God wants to give us another opportunity to turn it around.  However, there is also a warning contained in these words.  Yes, we have a second chance with God but, there is a final reckoning.  If we continue to reject God and do not turn our lives around then, like the fig-tree, we will be cut down.  Let us seize the opportunity to bear fruit while we still have the chance.