This is Holy Week—the week around which, according to the Christian tradition, all of human history turns. Yesterday was Palm Sunday, and the people welcomed Jesus as King into Jerusalem. Today is called Fig or Holy Monday, when Jesus curses the fig tree and overturns tables at the Temple (we tend to focus on the latter and not the former.) The nation of Israel is often represented by the fig tree, and (despite it not being in season) this mature fig should have been producing taqsh, or pre-fruit, by the time Jesus encounters it. Scripturally speaking, that which is considered "good" (the Hebrew word for this is tov) by God is that which produces fruit with seeds in it. Since the fig tree, which takes up to five years to mature enough to produce fruit for the first time, was not producing taqsh, Jesus knew that it was not doing what it was intended by God–to produce fruit that would produce more trees and more fruit and more trees. (Incidentally, taqsh, although tough and bitter, was often eaten by peasants and those hungry along the way as a kind of hold over until real food could be found.) To curse in the Hebrew mind is to name or render something as light or worthless, to make it of no consequence. In essence, Jesus's action in cursing the fig tree was a simple naming of what was: this tree was not doing what it was made to do, and was therefore 'cursed.' In cursing the tree, Jesus was calling out the corruption of the religious establishment, which not only was not producing the fruit of the Kingdom of God, the fruit that God intended for it to produce, but was also failing to feed the poor, the hungry, and pilgrims along the way. How does this framing of the passage affect your view of Christ's actions? What might God also be asking to reframe in your life right now?

Posted by Anam Cara Abbey at 2022-04-11 13:30:12 UTC