Josemaría Escrivá Obras

Jesus had worked hard the previous day, so when he set off once more on his way he felt hungry. Moved by his need, he goes up to a fig tree which, from a distance, boasts a magnificent foliage. St Mark tells us that 'it was not the season for figs', but Our Lord comes to pick them, knowing full well that he won't find any at this time of year. However, when the tree proves to be barren in spite of its apparent fertility and luxuriant leaves, Jesus commands, 'Let no man ever eat fruit of yours hereafter.'

Hard words, indeed! May you never more bear fruit! How must the disciples have felt, especially if they considered that it was the Wisdom of God who had thus spoken? Jesus curses the fig tree because in it he has found only the appearance of fruitfulness — many leaves. Let this be a lesson to us. There is no excuse for being unproductive. Some might say 'I don't know enough...' But that is no excuse. Or else, 'I am unwell, I haven't much talent, the conditions are not right, my surroundings...' These aren't excuses either. How pitiful the man who adorns himself with the foliage of a false apostolate, who has all the outward appearance of leading a fruitful life, but is not sincerely attempting to yield fruit! It looks as though he is using his time well. He seems to get around, to organise things, to be inventing new ways of solving all kinds of problems... but he has nothing to show for his efforts. No one will benefit from his works if they have no supernatural content.

Let us ask Our Lord that we may be souls who are ready to work with a heroism that proves fruitful. For there is no lack of people here on earth who, on being approached, turn out to be nothing but large, shiny, glossy leaves. Foliage, just foliage and nothing more. Meanwhile, many souls are looking to us hoping to satisfy their hunger, which is a hunger for God. We must not forget that we have all the means we need. We have sufficient doctrine and the grace of God, in spite of our wretchedness.

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