Sirach 44: 1, 9-13
The story of Jesus cursing the fig tree in today’s gospel offers a spiritual insight. Jesus goes to the fig tree with an expectation of fruits. But he gets disappointed by the fact that the tree was barren. Well, the barren state of the tree is reasonable as it was not the right season. Then why did Jesus curse the tree? Scholars say probably because the tree showed-off with lush green leaves but no fruits in it. This was quite misleading and deceptive.
Some of the religious authorities during the time of Jesus pretended to be upright. They showed-off with external religious demonstrations, while their hearts were gripped on the worldly affairs. This is evident in the temple scene in today’s gospel where Jesus upsets the unjust activities by the authorities of the temple under the cover of religiosity. So, Jesus’ disappointment with the tree could be a manifestation of his disappointment with some hypocrite authorities.
This episode unfolds the truth about our own self as well. It awakens our conscience to the value of INTEGRITY. Of course, it is human weakness to pretend in order to save ourselves. But Jesus reminds us, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Trusting in his words we pray for the grace to be truthful and fruitful.
Justin Durai Raj CP is a member of the Passionist community at St.Paul, Glen Osmond, SA.