Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 8: Year 2
“In the morning, when he returned to the city, he was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the side of the road, he went to it and found nothing at all on it but leaves. Then he said to it, ‘May no fruit ever come from you again!’ And the fig tree withered at once.” (Matthew 21:18 – 19)
A fig tree, born of creation, yet refuses to provide food for the One through whom it has its being. We might argue that it was not the “proper” time for the fruit to come; therefore, not the tree’s fault. But we don’t know the hidden relationship that the Creator had with this tree.
I have read where that as Jesus was on his way back to the Temple, which was also in full leaf, produced no fruit in terms of spiritually feeding the people entrusted to it. The Temple was there for the Temple authorities only. There was a similarity between the fruitless tree and the fruitless temple.
How about you and me? What is the spiritual fruit of our labors? Are we found visiting the sick, or assisting those with no transportation to the store or medical appointments? These are especially challenging questions during our COVID 19 pandemic. But we must not use this pandemic as an excuse, or as a free pass, to not help our neighbors. By using the proper cleaning products, wearing masks, using a well cleansed back seat in our cars for our neighbors, and other safe practices, we can produce the spiritual fruit that our Lord Jesus is going to come looking for.
This pandemic should not become a self-serving excuse to not be gracious to others. Such graciousness is the fruit that feeds our Lord Jesus. He is hungry, and He is coming!
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John