April 18, 2022

A Lesson for the Soul on Holy Monday: Be Fruitful (Archimandrite Athanasios Mitilinaios)

Be Fruitful
 On Holy Monday 
we commemorate 
the withering of the fruitless fig tree.

"And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves." (Matt. 21:18-22)

By Archimandrite Athanasios Mitilinaios

One morning, Christ was hungry. On the road He came to a fig tree, and looked on it for a fig. However, only leaves were to be found. For this the fruitless tree was condemned to be withered.

You as well, sister soul, are like a tree in the garden of the creation of God.

The Heavenly Gardner has come to you many times.

He watered you with His divine Grace.

He fertilized you with His immeasurable love.

He pruned you with His affectionate lessons.

And now, hungry for your salvation, He has come to find some "fruit".

He looks under the leaves of your formal worship to perhaps find the fruit of your repentance. Your proud, raised branches have nothing to offer Him.

He looks again just in case He overlooked something.

Tears of devotion is what He seeks! The beats of your heart is what He studies!

An impoverished soul! Such fruitlessness!

The eternal condemnation of your withering awaits you.

"Fearing a similar sentence to that of the fruitless fig tree, 
O my soul, let us bring forth fruits 
worthy of repentance to Christ, 
Who bestows on us the great mercy."