04 Mar Mark 11:13 (Barren)
“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 (full readings)
Steve’s Reflections: 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 foilage 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.
Faith Challenge: Search your soul, turn to prayer, and root through the foilage – where is your heart at today?
Sr. Francelle’s Devotion: Suffering (a must read as you prepare for Lent) “Suffering can be a great teacher. It makes us either better or bitter – it all depends on our attitude.”
Our Prayers: Prayer to end abortion, Spiritual Adoption, Alpha Center, Peters family (JP). Add Prayers on our website. Pray with meals, bedtime, wake up, running, etc. Consider mid-week Family Rosary (17 min). Let’s pray now.
Feast Day: St. Casimir (d. 1483) “Casimir, born of kings and in line (third among 13 children) to be a king himself of Poland. Even as a teenager, Casimir lived a highly disciplined, even severe life, sleeping on the ground, spending a great part of the night in prayer and dedicating himself to lifelong celibacy.”
Faith Quote: “He who tends a fig tree will eat his fruit, and he who serves his master will be honored” ~ Proverbs 27:18
* Pray/Fast: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. Fast from things that take your eyes off Jesus. Those who pray together stay together, and close to God!
* Save Unborn (& family): Abortion reality (images)…#1 death cause (23% pregnancies). Prov 24:11 & Jer 1:5. “A great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish.” Mother Teresa
* Evangelize:Make room for unbelievers & re-evangelization of self, by way of prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of love (service/sacrifice/mercy). Matt 28:19.