Luke 13:1-9 | Questions


///Luke 13:1-9 – Repentance Barren Fruit Tree

///Luke 13:1-9 – Repentance Barren Fruit Tree

A compilation of over 50 questions
from a variety of sources

Updated Weekly


The Tough Question

Why do people suffer in this life?

The problem of suffering is more than existential. It tests the very core of faith. Why does God allow so much suffering in the world? A loving, merciful God should not rule such a cold, ruthless world. “Something is wrong,” critics of religion tell us. “Either God is not loving and merciful. Or, he does not have the power to control what he created.”

What pain do you suffer from? Place that hurt in God’s hands just for a few moments this day. And see what happens.




Spiritual Reflection Questions


1. “ … And I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it;.” …  Metaphorically speaking, the cultivation and fertilization could be grace in the parable. In the book Diary of a Country Priest, George Bernanos said, “Grace is everywhere.” What does that statement mean to you? Do you always cooperate with such grace? Could you cooperate to a greater degree? How?

2. Do you give people another chance after they make a mistake? Does God use people as “gardeners” to help cultivate and fertilize with grace? Does God use you? Has God used others to help you bear fruit?

SOURCE: The SUnday Website at Saint Louis University


Studying God’s Word

Download Scripture Study (PDF)  RCIA OPTION – YEAR A


Though neither event is recorded outside the Scriptures, the first tragedy, according to the Jewish historian Josephus, would not be out of character for the Roman governor of Judea Pontius Pilate as he was known to have committed similar atrocities. As for the Tower of Siloam, the ruins can be seen in Jerusalem to this day. In Jesus’ time it was common belief that most misfortune experienced by people was punishment for sin (Job 31:3; Proverbs 10:24, John 9:24-34), a view Jesus did not share (John 9:1-3).

What Jesus wishes to emphasize is that just like the owner of the fig tree in the parable, God out of his great mercy (Ezekiel 33:11; Romans 2:14; 2 Peter 3:1-16), gives us ample— although not unlimited —time to, as John the Baptist says in Matthew 3:8, “bear fruit that befits repentance” (in New Testament Greek, metanoeo—literally, to change one’s mind for the better).


1. In the First Reading, God reveals very clearly to Moses who he is and how it is his people can come to know him. How do you keep before you the identity of God and his holiness, and your need of repentance before him? How can you do this better?

2. In verses 6-9, whom does the fig tree represent? The owner? The gardener?

3. How do the incidents of Pilate’s bloodshed (verse 1) and the collapsing tower of Siloam (verse 4) provide examples of the urgency of repentance?

4. What is the danger of associating someone’s misfortune with sin (verses 2, 4)?

5. How do you treat newspaper accounts of tragic deaths? How often do they remind you of your mortality and of your own need of repentance? If they have not, how should you take advantage of Jesus’ admonition (verses 3, 5)?

6. If you had one more year like the fig tree to turn your life around, what would you do? What fruit do you want to be producing by this time next year?

SOURCE: Sunday Scripture Study by Vince Contreras, Used with Permission

Junior High Scripture Discussion Starters

Download Lesson (PDF)

  1. In the parable that Jesus tells, why does the man want to cut down the fig tree?
  2. Why is the tree given one more year to bear fruit?
  3. Why does Jesus tell the story of the fig tree?
  4. What will happen to those who do not repent?

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  1. Have you ever been given a second chance?
  2. What are the things that you need to turn away from in order to turn back to God?
  3. How can you bring forth goodness?
SOURCE: Lectionary Resources by RCL BENZINGER

Our Sunday Readings

On the Brink

Download Reading Guide (PDF)
Reflection Questions
SOURCE: Our Sunday Readings by Edrianne Ezell, Used with Permission


Sharing God’s Word

Download Commentary (PDF)


  1. Share with the group or person next to you what spoke to you most in the Gospel. With this first question, try to refrain from commenting on what others said. Just share what spoke to you and then move on to the next person.
  2. Moses’ burning bush experience dramatically changed the course of his life. Have you had a ‘burning bush’ event or an experience of God’s closeness that changed the course of your life? If so, how was that experience?
  3. The second reading is a call to continuous conversion. In the Gospel, there is an urgent call to conversion. Name examples of what continuous conversion may involve. What helps you from falling into the trap of “spiritual smugness?”
  4. “He came looking for fruit but found none.” What kind of fruit do you think Jesus expects disciples to bear? Share one example of “fruit” that you seek to bear daily.
  5. The Gospel is a clear call to repentance “lest we perish”. What can help you to see what conversion may still be needed in your life?
  6. What is the one thing Jesus is saying to us in this Sunday’s Gospel about how a disciple should speak or act?
SOURCE: Commentaries on the Lectionary by Fr. Eamon Tobin (1947-2021), Used with Permission


Echoing God’s Word

Download Reflection (PDF) – RCIA OPTION – YEAR A

1. Share with others some of the ways which God has provided you with “living water.” How has God met your needs when you were in serious difficulty? Tell others what God has done for you when you were in need. Tell of how you had come to the point that you were isolating yourself from family and friends, so deep was your distress. Tell of how Christ came to you words of healing and of love.

2. What price have you had to pay for being faithful to Jesus Christ? What has it cost you? What have you had to give up? The woman at the well had to give up her sinful life, even the good parts of it. What good things have you hesitated to give out of fear that you would have nothing to go on? What has been your experience of decisions you have made to do good things in your life?

3. Jesus saw beyond the woman’s sinfulness. He saw a heart that really yearned for God despite her confusion, her hostility, and her mistakes. Are there some people you know whose negative behavior is really a “thirst for God?” Do you know people who act in a hostile way when they just need more love and care? Do you sometimes do that too?

SOURCE: Echoing God’s Word by Clement D. Thibodeau (1932-2017), Used with Permission


Hearers of the Word

Download Reflection (PDF)

1. Jesus rejects the idea that personal misfortune is God’s punishment for sin. Yet a serious illness or accident can serve as a wake-up call about how we live our lives. How have such experiences given you a greater appreciation of the value of your life and relationships, and of the time and opportunities at your disposal?

2. “I’ll wait till tomorrow to do that”. Have you ever said that and then found the chance is gone the next day? In the story, we are called to recognise God at work in our lives and respond to Him. NOW is the opportune moment. When have you been glad you did not put off action to the following day?

3. Perhaps there have been times when you saw yourself like the tree in the parable—useless, merely a waste of space. Think of friends who came to you at such a time, people who saw your potential and were prepared to give you another chance, people who also dug the soil around you and gave you the helps you needed to grow. Perhaps in your turn you have been able to do this for others.


Reflection by Bishop Jim Golka

Please be patient
as page loads

Please be patient
as page loads