Barren (Mk 11:13) by Steve Castle

07 Mar Barren (Mk 11:13) by Steve Castle

“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.” ~ Mark 11:13

Reflection: In today’s Gospel we have the curious passage of Jesus cursing the fig tree, “May no one ever eat of your fruit again!” Some might be a bit shocked or uncomfortable by Jesus’ response and think the writer must have somehow misunderstood Jesus’ intentions. Others might find comfort in seeing a bit of Jesus’ humanity, “He got ticked off, too.” The truth is in the figgy pudding. In early spring if fig trees are going to bear a crop they have little knobs called taqsh (in Arabic). To get to these knobs one would have to root through the foliage of the tree. Passersby, like Jesus, would often eat these knobs in the early spring, but this fig tree did not have any taqsh despite it’s lush appearance. This was a clear sign to Jesus. Despite it’s appearance it would not bear any fruit that year. It was barren. Are we like the lush fig tree? Do we put on a good show, have all the right words, say all the right prayers, make all the pious gestures, but are barren on the inside? Jesus hungers for each one of us – when he comes upon us will he find what he is looking for? Or will he find that we are all show and no substance? Prayer is an opportunity for us to “root” through the foliage and examine our intentions, and Jesus speaks clearly today about the power of prayer, “Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.” Dear Jesus, search my soul and make my intentions true so that I may be a blessing to all those I encounter today.

Challenge: Search your soul, turn to prayer, and root through the foliage – where is your heart at today?

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Inspiration: “Suffering can be a great teacher. It makes us either better or bitter – it all depends on our attitude.” ~ Sr. Francelle Clark

All In Christ for Pro-Life,
Steve Castle

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