In the morning Mass I attended today, the celebrant explained that the fig tree that Jesus cursed saying "May no one ever eat of your fruit again!" could be seen as the Temple of Jerusalem. A similar interpretation of the "fig tree" is often used throughout the Bible. The Jerusalem Temple, as we know, was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. never to be rebuilt (the Jews tried but every time they began the project, natural disasters followed; so they stopped). Therefore, the "fig tree" - the Jerusalem Temple - that failed to bear fruits did "wither", to be transformed by God into the New Jerusalem Temple (the Church) with its new High Priest (Jesus himself) and its new sacrifice (the Pascal sacrifice of the Lamb of God).
If revealed truths from the Bible such as this don't touch our hearts, so much so as to leave us shaken and dazed, I don't know what will!!
Also in today's first reading, St. Peter said, "Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you. But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly" (1 Peter 4:7-13).
The celebrant used this reading to warn us of the endless persecutions that the Church had been subjected to since its institution, including St. Justin's martyrdom (today is his feast day), those of the martyrs of the early Church and, most of all, the persecutions that she continues to suffer even today, right now in this age, right here in this place where we live, in the disguise of a government legislation - Bill 13 (parents can't even educate their own children the way they want!), in the form of suppression of religious freedom and conscience (the Church must accept the provincial government's moral values), ridicule of the Holy Father, banning of public prayers, discrediting of Church teachings...
"Do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you. But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ..."
Stay awake! Be Prepared! Rejoice in spite of the suffering!
View protest at Toronto Yonge/Dundas Square against Bill-13 on May 31, 2012.