Grace to you!
I admire parents a lot. I look back in my childhood days and wonder how I may have been messy. I was told I drove my parents crazy, crying and nagging. Yet they showed me much love. As parents say, “...a labor of love.”
God bless my dad and my mom, may her gentle soul rest in peace. God bless you parents because you do an incredible job to bear with your children.
One of the greatest pains for parents is to have a child that doesn’t seem to get going; a child that doesn’t measure up to expectations and a child that is wasteful.
Take for instance, a child who was sent to school. The parents paid all the tuition and spent all the money to provide all he needed to do well in school, but the child could not graduate. It really causes parents a lot of pain to see things like this happen to their child. It is not a desirable thing for any person.
In our relationship with God, I think, there are some expectations from the Lord as our Heavenly Father. I learned that from so many texts in the Bible, on stewardship, proper stewardship, and accountability. God desires us to grow and bear fruits. That’s accountability.
There are some baseline expectations in our relationship with God. To whom much is given, the bible says, much is expected (Luke 12:48).
The story of the cursing of the fig tree by Jesus, as recorded in Mark 11:12-25, is a pointer to this expectation. Jesus was hungry for food and was attracted by a fig tree. The fig tree looked blossomy. The foliage was leafy, indicating fruitfulness and healthiness, which stirred Jesus’ expectations.
Remember, according to the bible, it wasn’t the time for the fig tree to produce. This particular fig tree had such a leafy appearance and foliage that ordinarily you would see when a tree produces fruit. Coming closer to the tree, Jesus saw there was no fruit.
It’s like those who make the profession of faith but do not produce the fruits of righteousness. They look like believers, though their lifestyle suggests otherwise. This fig tree symbolizes a hypocrite.
Go through the bible. The Lord does not hate the sinner. The Lord has never hated a sinner. After all he told us that he has come for the sick, not the healthy. Those who pretend they are healthy, although terribly sick, are the people that do not receive divine healing and forgiveness (Ps 51:17).
Hence, I don’t think Jesus would curse the tree that has no leaf and needs life. A humble contrite heart is acceptable to him. Jesus will give that tree life and make it fruitful. We are like that tree when we are open for his power to bring us into peace, which he alone can give.
God love you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.