Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Justin, M. (01st June, 2018) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Friday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time (II))
Ps 95:10-13. (R. v. 13);
Saint Justin was born in Nablus in Samaria at the beginning of the second century. A philosopher and on his conversion to the faith wrote in defence of religion. His only works now extant are his two Apologies and his Dialogue addressed to Trypho. He opened a school in Rome and took part in public disputations. He suffered a martyr’s death with his companions during the time of Marcus Aurelius, about the year 165.
Topic: Jesus or the fig tree.
Today’s gospel is basically made up of two sections; the cursing of the fig tree (Mk 11:12-19) and the lesson from the withered fig tree (Mk 11:20-26). Verse 11 serves as an introduction to the gospel. And some versions of the bible do not have verse 26.
Our reflection is on the first section. Jesus searched for fruits on a fig tree but found nothing but leaves. And the evangelist excused the fig tree, “...it was not the season for figs.” We remember that there is a season for everything, cf. Eccl 3:1. Yet, Jesus did not excuse the fig tree that failed to bear fruits outside the season for figs but cursed it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”
Let us look beyond the fig tree out there because through the prophet Isaiah God said, “the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel” (Is 5:7). By implication, every Israelite is a vine. He/she who plants a vineyard or a fig tree ought to eat of its fruits, cf. 1Cor 9:7; Deut 20:6. And God who planted Israel expects it to bear fruits. They include: to fear Him, to walk humbly in all His ways, to love Him, to do justice, to love kindness, to serve Him with all their hearts and with all their soul, cf. Deut 10:12; Mic 6:8.
God expects these fruits in the proper season. And this according to the book of Deuteronomy is at all times including the old age, cf. Deut 11:1. 6:24; Ps 92:14. Therefore, the fig tree without fruits has not excuse.
Every Christian is a citizen and a member of the household of God (new Israel), cf. Eph 2:19. The question now is, what fruits do we produce or do we wait for an illusory season? God will not spare any person who fails to bear good fruits. We must therefore emulate Saint Justin who produced much fruits as a Christian.
Bible Reading: Is 5:1-7; Lk 13:6-9.
Thought for today: Bearing fruits is a must.
Let us pray: Lord and master of the vineyard, help us bear good fruits always – Amen.
Saint Justin – Pray for us.
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