Of figs, fruits and conversion…

Jesus told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for the fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, ‘Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground.’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied ‘leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.’” Luke 13 : 6-9

Dear children! With the time of Lent, you are approaching a time of grace. Your heart is like ploughed soil and it is ready to receive the fruit which will grow into what is good. You, little children, are free to choose good or evil. Therefore, I call you to pray and fast. Plant joy and the fruit of joy will grow in your hearts for your good, and others will see it and receive it through your life. Renounce sin and choose eternal life. I am with you and intercede for you before my Son. Thank you for having responded to my call. January 25, 2008

by Fr Jozo Zovko OFM

Jesus tells me that if I live in him and he lives in me, I will bear much fruit; fruit that will last. His Mother, too, calls me to be fruitful. I am not asked for what I cannot give. This means that I can convert; I can change; it is not too late. How consoling this is.

Our Lady’s messages are the seed, and your soul, your heart and your life are the soil. Like the field which receives the seed, your heart must be opened and prepared so that a change may take place – a change renewing the face of the earth. It is not too late.

How sad it was for the owner to see the fig tree in the vineyard without fruit. It was to be chopped down. How sad it was for Jesus to reach into the fig tree and find no fruit. The Apostles watched it wither and die. How sad it is to see a parish, a family, a person, without fruit. Yes, you can bear fruit. It is not too late.

by Fr Slavko Barbaric OFM

Conversion, in the messages of Medjugorje, means to change one’s life, to forsake sin, selfishness, arrogance, pride, and to open ourselves to humility, love, and to never give up.

Conversion has two elements – one, whereby we are called to forsake sin and another, whereby we are called to open ourselves to love. None of us will be able to say he loves enough, that he cannot love more. This is conversion – to try and love more, to try and get to be fully aware of sin, to pray for the spirit of love and to go forward.

I am saying this for the benefit of those who have started with enthusiasm after hearing of the apparitions and have realised that change is not easy, it requires some hard work. Do not allow yourselves to tire; conversion lasts the whole of one’s life.

Our Lord understands this. Our Lady understands this – that is why she has invited all of us to confess every month. If she is inviting us to confession, one can say she knows we are sinners; she knows we will remain as such, but that does not matter. What matters is to look once again for reconciliation and the strength which is given to us by the Lord, This is hope and strength for us.

by Fr Svetozar Kraljevic OFM

Evangelicals consider the moment of conversion to be when one acknowledges he is a sinner, asks God’s forgiveness, and accepts him as Lord and Master, In Herzegovina, that is only the beginning: conversion is an ongoing, life-long process as bit by bit, with our cooperation, God conforms us ever more to the image of his Son.

Conversion, then, means staying in touch with the reality of what is going on in us and around us, and dealing with that reality in obedience to God, in faithfulness and in love. We find ourselves constantly asking: “Îf Jesus were here, what would he do?” Or: “If I am to be holy and live according to the call and commandments of God, what do Ineed to do now?”

To be holy does not mean to be strange, a fanatic or a freak. It means to be a very normal, healthy, balanced person. Forget what the world or the devil might tell you: it is normal to lead a holy life, for that is the life that God created you to live. Holiness means wholeness.

by Pope Benedict XVI

Conversion remains the key to all reconciliation and to the Church’s ministry of reconciliation. All individual and collective reconciliation springs from the conversion of hearts. The social fabric of the Church and the world will be reformed and renewed only when conversion is interior and personal. The needed reform of oppressive economic and political structures in the world cannot be effected without the conversion of hearts. The reconciliation of humanity at the level of individuals, communities, peoples and blocs of nations presumes the conversion of individual hearts and must be based on truth.

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