During Holy Week, we remember in a special way the last few days of Jesus’ life and ministry on Earth. On Palm Sunday, we recall His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem as a beloved prophet. On Holy Thursday, we remember the Last Supper. And on Good Friday, we remember the crucifixion.
But what about the other days? What did Jesus do in the beginning of the most important week of His life?
We know from scripture that on Monday of Holy Week Jesus drove the money lenders out of the temple. On Wednesday, as Jesus continued causing quite a stir in the city teaching the truth, Judas saw an opportunity to make some money and secretly went to the corrupt Pharisees with an offer to help them arrest Jesus in return for 30 pieces of silver (anywhere between $90 and $3,000 in today’s money). Because of Judas, the Wednesday of Holy Week is often called “Spy Wednesday”.
But on Tuesday of Holy Week, also known as “Fig Tuesday”, we remember the time Jesus cursed a fig tree…yes that’s right, He cursed a fig tree, but for a good reason. Jesus and His disciples were heading back into Jerusalem in the morning, and Jesus was hungry. He noticed a fig tree on the side of the road, but when the group approached it, there was nothing on it but leaves. Jesus said to the tree, “May no fruit ever come from you again.” The disciples watched in wonder as the tree withered immediately. As we all would in that situation, the disciples pressed Jesus for an explanation.
Jesus answered, “Amen, I say to you, if you have faith and do not waver, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done. Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.” In this passage, Jesus reminds us to have such a strong faith that even the impossible seems possible. No doubt, Jesus was preparing His disciples for what was to come in the next few days. He knew that their faith was about to be challenged and they were going to have to start their mission of building the Church.
Today, let’s remember to have faith in the love and mercy of God as we continue through the last few days on our journey to Easter.