After spending the night in Bethany Jesus sets out for Jerusalem early in the morning. The Gospel tells us He was hungry, and from this we can surmise Jesus was fasting; we all should be fasting during these final days of Lent. On account of His hunger the Lord approaches a fig tree on His way to the city. The tree bears only leaves but no fruit, and Jesus proceeds to curse it. The fig tree represents the spiritual deadness of Israel, who while very religious outwardly with all the sacrifices and ceremonies, was spiritually barren because of sin and the obstinate rejection of the Messiah during the course of His earthly ministry among them. By cursing the fig tree, causing it to whither and die, Jesus was pronouncing His coming judgment. The Old Testament is now passing over to the New Covenant.
Jesus enters the Temple courts and drives out the money changers in righteous anger: “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers” (Luke 19:46).
In these closing days of Lent, we ought to strive to drive out sin from the temple of our souls by fasting and going to confession.
Notes: According to Luke’s Gospel, Jesus spends the nights during Holy Week on the Mount of Olives. The episode of the cleansing of the Temple occurs on Palm Sunday in Matthew and Luke’s Gospel. In John’s Gospel, which includes more than one Passover, this episode occurs at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry (John 2:13-6). It may be that John places the incident at the start of his Gospel for theological purposes, or that there were two separate incidents—one early in Jesus’ public ministry and another when He came to Jerusalem for the Passover. The passage of time from Monday to Wednesday of Holy Week is not elucidated by John.
By courtesy of Catholic World Report