March 29, 2010

Holy Monday

On Holy Monday the Church commemorates Joseph the Patriarch, the beloved son of Jacob. A major figure in the Old Testament, Joseph’s story is told in the final section of the Book of Genesis. (chapters 37-50). Because of his exceptional qualities and remarkable life, our patristic and liturgical tradition portrays Joseph as a prototype, or image of Christ. The story of Joseph illustrates the mystery of God’s providence, promise and redemption.

The Church also commemorates on Holy Monday, the event of the cursing of The Fig Tree (Matthew 21.18-20). “The fig tree is symbolic of Israel become barren by her failure to recognize and receive Christ and His teachings. The cursing of the fig tree is a parable in action, a symbolic gesture. Its meaning should not be lost on any one in any generation. Christ’s judgement on the faithless, unbelieving, unrepentant and unloving will be certain and decisive on the Last Day. This episode makes it clear that nominal Christianity is not only inadequate, it is also despicable and unworthy of God’s kingdom. Genuine Christian faith is dynamic and fruitful. It permeates one’s whole being and causes a change. Living, true and unadulterated faith makes the Christian conscious of the fact that he is already a citizen of heaven. Therefore, his way of thinking, feeling, acting and being must reflect this reality. Those who belong to Christ ought to live and walk in the Spirit; and the Spirit will bear fruit in them: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal. 5.22-25).