THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY OF JESUS into Jerusalem took place on Sunday. That evening He and the twelve apostles withdrew from the city and went out to spend the night with friends in the little town of Bethany. Early the following morning they set out to return to Jerusalem, probably without breakfasting, for on the way Jesus became hungry. Noticing a fig tree some distance away, He approached to see if there was any fruit on the tree. He found nothing but leaves, however, for though the fig trees of Palestine blossom with flower-fruit buds late in March, the fruit is not developed until June. Then, addressing the fruitless tree, Jesus said:
“May no fruit ever come from thee henceforward, forever!”
That evening Jesus and His followers went out once more to spend the night in Bethany. The next morning, Tuesday, as they were on their way back to Jerusalem, they again chanced to pass the fig tree and saw it was withered from the roots. Flower and leaf had withered and fallen to the ground, and what had been fresh and beautiful the previous day was now a shrunken lifeless thing. The disciples were struck by this evidence of Christ’s power over nature, and Peter excitedly pointed out to Jesus what had happened as the result of His curse: “Rabbi, behold, the fig tree that Thou didst curse is withered up.”
“Have faith in God. Amen I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Arise, and hurl thyself into the sea,’ and does not waver in his heart, but believes that whatever he says will be done, it shall be done for him. Therefore I say to you, all things whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you shall receive, and they shall come to you. And when you stand up to pray, forgive whatever you have against anyone, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your offenses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive you your offenses.”
Meditation: Why did Our Lord curse the fig tree? This is a parable in action, that is, an action performed by Christ to teach a lesson. Christ is teaching that we must bear the fruit of good actions in our lives. Intentions, however good, are not enough. We must not only intend to serve God; we must serve Him. As He cursed the fruitless fig tree and it withered, so shall He do to those of us whose lives do not show the fruit of good works. Is my religious life a series of promises and good intentions or of good actions?
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 199-200. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.