UNLESS YOU REPENT YOU WILL PERISH
Jesus was told of the Galileans who
started a mob to have Pilate removed. They failed in their efforts
and Pilate had them executed. Jesus added the story of the eighteen
who died when the tower of Siloam fell on them.
Christ showed them that the
Galileans were wrong in trying to depose Pilate. This was sedition.
"Unless you cease to conspire against your rulers for which you
will never have Divine guidance ye shall perish." God does not
want us to conspire to remove our rulers whether they are heads of
state, bishops or parish priests. Such effort to depose any ruler
will never receive Divine guidance and will be punished by God.
God allowed the death of the
Galileans so that we may not imitate them. They were punished by God
for their sins because they disobeyed God's command though they
assumed religious grounds as their reason for deposing Pilate. But
the true reason was they simply did not like him.
Christ states that these Galileans
sinned in trying to depose their ruler. They were sinners. But it
does not mean that we are better than they. And the eighteen others
on whom the wall fell were sinners. But we are not better than they.
Christ then describes the fig tree,
a tree that has abundant leaves and seems to have much fruit. But
this fig tree had no fruit. This represents Christians who magnify
themselves with many words and useless acts of piety and religiosity
but truly have no fruits. Christ threatened to chop the fig tree
down. Bu the husbandman pleaded with him not to cut it down; he
promised to dig around the tree and apply dung as fertilizer. The
husbandman are bishops and priests whose primary duty is to mediate
between God and man, constantly pleading to God not to chop down
Christians that bear no fruits. They should spend their time talking
and pleading to God in prayer and talk only to men to teach them the
commands of Christ, like not to depose their rulers. And Christ will
only relent if the bishop or priest promises to dig around the
Christian soul and apply dung.
What is to dig? To give Christians
a disciplined way of life. Chrysostom describes this as living a
monastic life in the world. And to apply dung is to give the
Christian soul ample opportunities for humility. All monastic rules
are opportunities for prayer, fasting and good works, which leads to
We Christians are fig trees. Most
of us are all leaves but no fruits. Our priests and bishops are
commanded to plead that we may not be uprooted. But for Christ to
listen to them, they must promise to dig around our souls and apply
dung. If, in spite of all these, we still bear no fruits, both we
and our pastors will answer to God. And, like the Galileans and the
eighteen, we shall perish because we have become worst