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Der Samuel's Sermon December 3, 2023

Today's Gospel reading conveys to us a wonderful parable. A man had a garden and planted a fig tree in the garden. He goes to pick figs but finds no figs there. He turns to the gardener and says: "It's the third year I've been coming to pick figs, but I can't find any." Therefore, he asks him to cut the tree, but the gardener turns to the Lord and says: "Lord, let it stay this year too. I will dig the soil again, and I will put fertilizer." Maybe this way will bear fruit. Later or not, next year will be cut."

It is a very interesting parable that teaches us two main lessons—the spirit of forgiveness and giving another chance. Naturally, in human understanding, we will not see a story about forgiveness, but when the Lord asks to cut down the tree because it has not borne fruit for three years, the gardener wants to keep it for another year. Arguments, misunderstandings, and mistakes happen naturally in our daily, friendly, collective, and family environment, which sometimes deeply upset us and hurt our soul, our ego, and our surroundings. Immediately, we want to leave that group, and family completely, and we want to separate leave because they made a mistake towards us. First, we should always keep in mind that we, humans, are not infallible, we are not innocent, and there will be moments when all of us will make mistakes, we are tempted, after all, we are not perfect beings, the only perfect one is God himself. Therefore, knowing all this, and always remembering all this, we should also know that we all make or will make mistakes, whoever we live with and deal with. As Christians, we must forgive others and give a chance to those who have wronged us. Many people will probably say: how can you forgive someone who has hurt you, but I would like to mention the words of Christ when he asked his Father God to forgive those who tortured him, those who crucified him: Again you can say that we are not God, but again, I will quote from the Bible, and mention the words of Christ and say: "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." We should know that those who harass us are not our enemies, they were our friends, and sometimes they were our close ones. Let's try not to continue our lives only by listening and reading these parables but by letting them be a reason for changes in our lives. 

Let's try to live Christianity, not just be Christians in the name. Let's try to give people a chance, listen to them, not judge them at once. We are not and cannot be anyone's judge, because God himself is the Judge.

If we want them for the good, and we want to say it, then let’s say it in a nice way without hurting people's feelings. If we want to criticize them for their action because we love them, then we must find a way that cannot hurt them. 

Why do you think people liked Jesus? Yes, because he was a perfect man and a perfect God. The way he used to talk was very charming. And he was nice to people. He didn’t shout to their face, even though he did with some people, but in general he was nice. He didn’t think that He was a God, and he could behave with people as he wanted. Before we act, we must know one thing, he/she is human, and maybe we can make mistakes towards the same people.

Let's be like the gardener, giving one more chance. And finally, let us take the example of our lives from Christ, the saints who walked the path for which God sent his only Son to preach and evangelize sinners like us.

Therefore, I would like all of us to be forgiving towards each other, to be tolerant, and not to allow evil to use our person to harm others like us or our friends. Always remember that what is negative in this life comes from evil, and evil will distance us from God, our relatives, and our friends by these means. If there is no spirit of forgiveness in our hearts, no spirit of loving others, our lives will be full of various kinds of troubles and questions.

I pray that the kindest God will guide our steps and rule our hearts and souls so that we can be forgiving towards people, to those who have wronged us. Let's ask the Lord like Christ, saying: "Lord, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Amen.

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