The Bible: The Power of Rebirth

Jesus and Israel

Jesus and Israel

Reflection on the Gospel of the Friday In The Eight Week Of Ordinary Time

 

Mark 11: 11-26

In today’s reading from the Gospel of Mark, we encounter the story of Jesus cursing the fig tree, as well as his cleansing of the Temple. Here is a summary of the key events:

  1. Jesus arrives in Jerusalem and makes his way to the Temple. Upon reaching the Temple, he takes a moment to observe his surroundings before leaving for Bethany to spend the night.
  2. The next day, as Jesus is returning to Jerusalem, he feels hungry and notices a fig tree. He approaches the tree in the hope of finding fruit. However, since it is not the season for ripe figs, he finds only leaves. In response, Jesus curses the fig tree as a symbolic representation of Israel’s spiritual state and its relationship with God.
  3. Jesus then enters the Temple and disrupts the activities taking place, particularly in the court of the Gentiles. He drives out those who are engaged in buying and selling, overturns the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of those selling pigeons. Jesus condemns their actions, stating that they have turned the Temple into a place of dishonesty and commerce instead of a house of worship. His intention is to purify the Temple from foreign influences that have corrupted its true purpose. This commercialization had been facilitated by the collaboration of the high priests with the Romans, who appointed them as political figures. Jesus aims to restore the sacredness of the Temple, which had been compromised by these worldliness.
  4. The following day, Peter draws Jesus’ attention to the withered fig tree. In response, Jesus uses this moment to teach his disciples and the early Church about the power of faith. He encourages them to have faith that can move mountains, indicating that the Temple, represented by the mountain, will become obsolete. Jesus declares the Temple to be “dead” or “out of date,” as the time of God’s reign has arrived and will be fulfilled through the Church. The dramatic demonstration of Jesus overturning the tables serves as a foreshadowing of the violent destruction that the Temple would face in A.D. 70.

As we reflect on today’s gospel, let us pray to Jesus, asking for the grace to forgive others, knowing that through forgiveness, we also receive forgiveness from Him. May our faith be strong, enabling us to approach Jesus with confidence and receive whatever we ask for in faith.  Amen.

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