May 28 — Friday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time
“ …the fig tree you cursed has withered away.”
At first reading of the Gospel today, it seems that Jesus was being unreasonable. How can a fig tree bear fruit when it is not in season? To curse it and have it withered seems so harsh.
Of course, Jesus can never be mean, as He is most compassionate and most perfect. And He never says or does anything without deep meaning. He cursed the fig tree loud enough so that His disciples heard it. This could only mean one thing. That Jesus intended for them to hear it and learn a lesson from it. Our Lord taught in parables, and sometimes lessons are learned allegorically.
The fig tree in this story represents us — all those who have been planted in God’s garden, who have heard His Word. We have been given time to grow, to produce fruits. But unfortunately, a lot of us have not been able to produce much. Like the fig tree in question, it has matured but only has leaves and no fruits. Similarly, there are many Catholics who have been going to church and praying on a regular basis, which are all good things, but they have not been witnessing for Christ in their actions and their words. They have not spread the good news about Jesus and His kingdom through their words or actions.
Being a Christian is not just about us. It is not just about our faith; since faith is a gift, a grace given to us. It must be shared. If it is not shared, it will wither, like the fig tree. I am guilty of this. I am afraid of speaking to non-Christians about Jesus, for the fear of the awkward silence or the thought of being rejected or ridiculed.
The more I learn about our Catholic faith, the more I realize that I didn’t fully grasp what it means to be Catholic. Believing, trusting and loving God is a must for He loved us so much that He gave His only Son. But more than that, we need to share this love that God gives unconditionally. Sure, not everyone is called to pound the pavement to convert strangers they meet. But we are all called to love and share God’s abundant love. It could be just a smile, a cup of coffee, being someone who listens, sharing our time, talent and treasure. There are infinite ways to share God’s love with others. The love we share, touching people’s lives will be like the fruits on a tree.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Winnie Kung)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, please help us to share God’s love with others so that we may also bear fruit in our spiritual life.
Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, thank you for Your abundant love and infinite mercy. May we learn to share Your love and mercy with others, particularly those who are in need.