From the Word of the Day
“The next day as they were leaving Bethany he was hungry. Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf, he went over to see if he could find anything on it. When he reached it he found nothing but leaves; it was not the time for figs. And he said to it in reply, ‘May no one ever eat of your fruit again!’ and his disciples heard it… Early in the morning, as they were walking along, they saw the fig tree withered to its roots. Peter remembered and said to him, ‘Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered’.” (Mark 11: 12-14/20-21)
Bethany means ‘house of the poor’. It is the place which Jesus leaves to go to Jerusalem, to the Temple. There is a fig tree that is luxuriant and green, but only in appearance. Jesus requests fruit but it bears no fruit! It is not by chance that it is a fig tree, the tree under which, according to rabbinic tradition, the devoted remain to meditate on the Torah. Without fruit, the tree is like the Temple. Jesus makes the fig tree dry up and become sterile. This is the curse that comes to those who do not open their heart to the blessing of the Messiah. Those who do not see and do not accept the freedom of Jesus are destined to become naked and have their sterility seen.
Jesus always produces life when He passes. This is why with Him we are fruitful and without Him we are sterile. If we remain united to Him, we will produce much fruit. Remaining in Him is the gesture of the poor person who accepts, keeps, believes, and becomes His disciple.
In my pause for silent contemplation, I shall cling to Jesus and ask Him to make me bear fruit pleasing to Him.
Lord, let me remain united to You so that I may bear the fruit You desire.
The Voice of St. Paul
You will certainly say that the branches have been cut so that I could be grafted there! Well…but they have been cut because of their lack of faith, while you remain grafted to the faith. Do not become proud, but fearful! In fact, if God did not spare the natural branches, much less will He spare you! (Romans 11: 19-21)