Jesus told a parable about a fig tree that three years after reaching maturity still had not borne fruit. Its owner, seeing that it grew only to nourish itself, ordered the gardener to uproot it. The gardener, however, offering to spade around it and to nourish it, asked the owner to give the tree one more year.
The fig tree in the parable, of course, stands for any of us who lives only for him or herself, not accomplishing anything for the Lord. If we don’t switch to doing something for God we will be uprooted.
Chapter Eleven of Mark’s Gospel has another fig tree story. In that one, Jesus, feeling hungry stepped off the path to pluck a fig. On finding no fruit on the tree, he curse it; and his disciples, on their passing that way the next day, were surprised to see that the fig tree had withered and died.
The odd thing about the story is that Mark’s Gospel specified that it was not the season for figs. So, what was Jesus teaching us by cursing a tree when it wasn’t the season for bearing fruit? Don’t you think he was telling us we can’t wait around for the proper time to do good deeds? Rather, it’s always the time to get up and do good.