Every person is born for a purpose. The Gospel reveals that we are like fig trees called upon to bear fruit.
In the parable the fig tree has produced no fruit. It is unfortunately wasting space. We can relate this situation to other Gospel images such as the light hidden under a basket, the squandered inheritance, or the salt that has lost its favor.
Each calls the Christian to act on faith and to complete the work Jesus set out to accomplish. If we can sit here today and admit that since last lent nothing has really changed in our living out the virtues, then the Gospel tells us to get on the move. Time is shortening with every breath.
We need to take responsibility for our faith or we will die, not by a sudden tragic event, but from inertia, from our own choice to do nothing, like the fig tree.