Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written,
‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’?
But you have made it a den of robbers.”
And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.
In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In working with kids, we often hear, “That’s not fair.” We are born with an innate intuition of fairness. This is why a 5-year-old recognizes when something is unfair and seeks restitution or a balancing of fairness. What Jesus asks of us here is to be unfair, to go against our intuition, and to forgive. If someone has treated us unjustly, we are not to seek restitution or fairness; rather we are to be unfair to them by forgiving them.
Our human intuition of fairness seems offended, but Jesus follows this command up by saying that God will also forgive us. God has no need to forgive, but God always forgives. God’s unfairness must become our model response. We should strive to be unfair to others by always treating them with the unfairness of God.
—Liliana Mamani Condori is a Peruvian lawyer pursuing a master’s degree in theological studies at Boston College. Sam Hay is finishing his MA in Theology and Ministry at B.C., and currently works for its School of Education.
O Eternal Trinity,
my sweet love!
give us wisdom.
You, supreme strength,
Today, eternal God,
let our cloud be dissipated
so that we may perfectly know and follow
with a free and simple heart.
—Saint Catherine of Siena