In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus’ work centres around a formula for healing the world: a conversation, a reconciliation of the past, and a healed continuation of life.
The story about the barren, sickly fig tree in a vineyard illustrates that process. The earth around the fruitless tree will be turned and manured once more in the hope that the next season fruits will be produced. All kinds of things are done to make the tree fruitful, but, in the final instance, the outcome depends on the tree. If that fig tree remains insensitive and unresponsive to all the care it is given, and it still produces no fruit, then the tree is past hope. Alas!