Withered Tree or Living Tree?

– Friday Week 8 in Ordinary Time –

“May no one ever eat fruit from you again” [Mark 11:14]

It puzzles me that Jesus cursed the fig tree. It seems harsh and unfair, after all “it was not the season for figs”. I wonder, why would Jesus do that? Perhaps, he knew something that no one else knew? Does it have to do with the tree’s purpose? Is there a relationship with the passage regarding the cleansing of the Temple?

It seems to me that Jesus used something simple and common, a tree, to provoke reflection on our own purpose in life. Also, in showing his zeal for God’s house, Jesus is really showing his zeal for us. We have been created to be temples for prayer; however, busyness of life often draws us apart from our main purpose. Even doing good stuff, like ministry and family, can prevent us from dedicating our lives as an offering of prayer, praise and adoration to God. This could put us at a risk of facing the same fate as the fig tree.

I pray today that we remember the purpose of our lives and that we strive to fulfil the mission entrusted to us. I pray that we become trees of life that bear abundant fruit for ourselves and others. May we be like the tree described by Jeremiah planted by the water, with leaves that remain green despite the heat, trees that do not cease to bear fruit (cf. Jeremiah 17:8).


by Liliana Ortiz

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