Posted by: livingscripture | May 28, 2010

Eighth Friday of Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day
May no one eat of your fruit again!

Mark 11: 14

How should we live this Word

Jesus’ demand seems out of place, as the evangelist himself notes, “It was not the time for figs.” What is happening here? Does Jesus’ hunger make Him irrational? Certainly this is not what Mark wants to narrate. The enigmatic aspect of Jesus’ gesture, and His attitude that is not found in any other situation, gives us to understand that there is a different meaning here that goes beyond the gesture in itself.

Jesus seeks fruit on a fig tree and doesn’t find any. Then He goes into the Temple and does not find the fruit He is seeking. It was easy for the disciples to understand the symbolism of the gesture. The image of the fig tree indicated the people of God as unfruitful and was relatively common in their biblical tradition, particularly their prophetic tradition (Cf. Hosea 9: 16, Micah 7: 1, Ezra 17:24).

Thus, the fruitless fig tree that seemed so innocent because it was out of season, takes on an entirely different dimension. On the symbolic level, it is guilty because it did not regulate its fruit production according to Jesus’ coming. The emphasis is not so much on its capacity to produce fruit as on the lack of synchronization with Jesus’ arrival.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will open my heart to trust and faith which must be synchronized with works of charity and the humble and simple reception of the Paschal Mystery in my life. Otherwise, I risk dying to my very roots. I will listen to Jesus telling me ‘Have faith in God’ which can be more properly translated with ‘Have the faith of God’ by receiving the God who comes to you!

Lord Jesus, grant me total faith and trust in You. Grant that I may always recognize Your passage in my life and that I may forgive as You have forgiven me.

The voice of Fr. Tonino Bello, contemporary witness
Lord, I want to thank You for the gift of life. I read somewhere that human beings are angels with only one wing. They can only fly while embracing each other. Sometimes, in moments of closeness, I dare to think that even You Lord have only one wing, the other is hidden. Perhaps You want me to understand that You do not want to fly without me and that is why You have given me life, so that I may be Your flying companion.


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