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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Friday of the 8 th Week in Ordinary Time Download This Homily

Sir 44:1, 9-13,

Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple area. He looked around at everything and, since it was already late, went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

The next day as they were leaving Bethany he was hungry. 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. And he said to it in reply, "May no one ever eat of your fruit again!" And his disciples heard it.

They came to Jerusalem, and on entering the temple area he began to drive out those selling and buying there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.
He did not permit anyone to carry anything through the temple area. Then he taught them saying, "Is it not written:

My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples? But you have made it a den of thieves."

The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it and were seeking a way to put him to death, yet they feared him because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching. When evening came, they went out of the city.

Early in the morning, as they were walking along, they saw the fig tree withered to its roots. Peter remembered and said to him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered." Jesus said to them in reply, "Have faith in God. Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your transgressions."

 

Regular Cleansing Is Indispensable


Jesus and his disciples had a solemn entry into the city of Jerusalem escorted by women and children shouting ‘Hosanna’ to him. It said that he straight away went to the temple area. “He looked around at everything and, since it was already late, went out to Bethany with the Twelve.” This gives a slight hint to the intention of Jesus. We are told that Jesus looked around and saw all that was going on there but since it was too late he withdrew to Bethany, a nearby village. It seems that nobody offered him breakfast and therefore he had to search for figs on his way back to Jerusalem. The Evangelist makes it very clear that the fig tree was in leaf and it was not the season of fruits. Still Jesus who was hungry hoped that he could find at least some fruits to satiate his hunger. But there was none. Jesus cursed the tree, “May no one ever eat of your fruit again!” and it withered. The biblical scholars have come up with various explanations to clarify and justify the action of Jesus. According to them the fig tree is a symbol of Israel or the temple of Jerusalem, which was flourishing in business yet failing in its purpose or goal.


The selection of Israel had a purpose and the erection of the temple had a motive. However, Israel became a self-engrossed, self-preoccupied, self-catering group of people. When Abraham was chosen the task assigned to him was to be a blessing for others. Unfortunately, his descendents instead of being a blessing; turned out to be a threat and curse to others. The temple was meant to be a place of divine-human encounter. However, slowly it turned out to be a market place where big business was going on. In the case of both individuals and institutions, as in the time of Jesus even today a regular cleansing is indispensable. Even if the call and the goal are genuine, thanks to our human weakness and situational enticements various sorts of business can replace the original purpose and passion. If not a whip at least a broom is essential for an occasional cleansing.


Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI

 


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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