Monday, April 21, 2008

A Withered Fig Tree?

Dear Parish Faithful,

One of the "themes" for Holy and Great Monday centers around the incident of Christ withering the fig tree outslde of Jerusalem (MK. 11: 12-14; MATT. 21:18-19) This was clearly a "symbolic" gesture on the part of Christ. There are various levels of interpretation applied to this event, and perhaps one of the best is how this "parable in action" can be applied to our own relationship with God - or lack of such relationship. From the book known as The Synaxarion which we read from yesterday evening following the Bridegroom Matins, we hear the following:

It is quite clear that sin is likened unto the fig, inasmuch as it possesses the "delight" of sensual pleasure, the "stickiness" of sin itself and the "hardness and sharpness" of a guilty conscience.

The fig tree is also every soul which is devoid of all spiritual fruit. In the morning, that is, after this present life, if the Lord finds no refreshment in such a soul, He withers it with a curse and hands it over to the everlasting fire. It remains standing as a dried-up post, striking fear into those who do not produce the fitting fruit of the virtues.

Fr. Steven

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