Mk 11:11-26 Coming Home
What is the purpose of God’s creation and of all his creatures? To know, to love and to serve Him is what we all learned many years ago in our Catechism classes – at least for those who had the opportunity to study the catechism as a child.
All creatures, great and small, are here to serve man, and man is to serve the Lord and one another. The plan, the design is flawless; however, the execution went terribly wrong. Sin distorts, twists, disfigures the beautiful world we never knew but could easily imagine. Literary giants throughout the years have managed to capture a glimpse of this pristine world, its collapse and our attempts to rediscover it. Like good old Robinson Crusoe we too have been bored at life; taken it for granted and have sought adventure and a new beginning in some far away land. Why not just get away? Why not just run away from our life and troubles?
My quest for gusto; my longing for independence and of thrill seeking takes me on a voyage (a pilgrimage) I could never have imagined. I find myself where I never imagined myself to be, tossed at sea, shipwrecked and washed ashore on a virgin island. Sounds too good to be true and it is! I must start over and soon enough I begin to duplicate the land I once knew and sought to avoid. I begin to experience, once again, loneliness, isolation and despair. When I come in contact with evil I can recognize it immediately. But how I react will be based upon either my past experiences or my Christian duty. I have a choice as to how I wish to live my life. I can produce. I can commit. I can engage. Or I can wither, run away and distance myself from it all.
The Lord curses a fig tree. What is it doing here if it is not serving God or man? What purpose does it have if it is not faithful to its very nature? Why allow it to continue to soak up nutrients and minerals that could be better utilized? Of course, it is an example. None of us wish to admit it. It is definitely too scary. To be cursed by God means to have no hope. Dante’s Inferno brings this concept to mind and drives it home away from home, “Abandon all hope.”
Today, the Lord reminds us that when my life seems to be withering, bearing no fruit; when I have forgotten who I am and what I am here for, I need not run away but turn back! I need to seek the advice and counsel of a good spiritual director, mentor or friend. I have no need to re-invent myself but to re-discover who I am and who I was meant to be. I should not have to throw away my luggage, my past or my traditions when I am thrown overboard or off my horse. Instead, I should embrace them and carry them for they are a reminder of the Lord’s amazing grace and call for holiness, for higher ground, for sacred ground.
When I am lost and can no longer find my way home, I need to use my compass, I need to pray.
Through prayer, I will never forget that the Lord chose me from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last forever. Only then, will I be ready for the greatest adventure ever: my journey back home.
The blessing of children helps us to re-discover the way back home. They are a reminder of where I have been and what I should look like.