Friday in the Eighth Week of Ordinary Time
Today’s gospel may have one of the most bewildering accounts about Jesus contained in the Scriptures. Jesus curses a fig tree because it did not have fruit. What’s more, we are told that “it was not the time for figs.” Jesus not only curses a fig tree, which then withers and dies from His curse, but he curses it for not having figs, even though figs were not in season. This hardly squares with human notions of fair play.
The event reminds me of a line from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Susan is nervous about meeting Aslan when she finds out he is a lion, and asks if he is safe. One of the animals replies that “he isn’t safe. But he’s good.” So, too, with Jesus. He isn’t safe. He isn’t some abstract theory of rightness we can just put in whatever box we wish. He is His own person, with a mind and will of His own. Jesus is outside of our control. To follow Him, we must give up our notions of control and our ideas of safety. What we can rely on is His unconditional goodness. The question we must ask ourselves as we embark on the whirlwind of the Christian life is whether God’s goodness is enough.