Parables of Mercy: The Barren Fig Tree

The Barren Fig Tree

God is Merciful, God is Just

It is easy to overstate God’s mercy and downplay His justice. In doing so, it is like stamping a coin with one side only. Mercy and justice are the two attributes of God that cannot be separated despite seemingly incompatible with each other. “Justice without mercy is cruel” but “mercy without justice is the mother of dissolution” (St Thomas Aquinas). God’s mercy is not a denial of justice but a setting aside of the due punishment. If there is no justice, how can mercy be shown? Though God’s mercy is “unfathomable” and “inscrutable” (St Faustina’s Diary 1146), it is for penitents who appeal to it. For obstinate sinners, know that the barren fig tree was given one more chance for one more year only (Lk 13:8-9).

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