pray

Gospel

MK 11:11-26

Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.

Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 

He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”

And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.

In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 

Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”
Gospel citations come from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Reflection

Erica Pereira ‘17

Having faith is much easier said than done. Jesus tells us today that if we truly believe in our hearts, what we ask will be done for us. The point, however, is not what we can gain from this kind of belief—Christ tells us to trust that God will provide for us. When we believe this, we have nothing to fear.

I spent this semester studying abroad in Santiago, Chile. There have been many times when I have been blinded by fear and anxiety as I experience a completely new place and adjust to a new language and culture. Something that has particularly frustrated me here is the challenge of making Chilean friends. Especially at the beginning of the semester, I wanted to make friends with Chileans so badly, but sometimes my fear of embarrassing myself would overcome my desire to talk to them, and I wouldn’t strike up a conversation.

After slowly overcoming that fear and talking to more people, I feel as though I am making my first real friends here—I feel like I belong. These friends are truly gifts from God. And in looking back at my frustration and anxiety, I think: why did I fear? God completely provided for me. This is exactly what Christ is telling us in this Gospel. We have no need to fear. God is fully offering grace to us; we are just sometimes blind to it because we are afraid, like the chief priests and scribes.

In having faith in God, we must be patient. Patience in Spanish is paciencia—“Paz-ciencia”—which translates in English to “the science of peace.” Let us pray today that we can have the faith that can move mountains, and the trust to rest in the peace of God because God will provide for us.

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Prayer

Father Andrew Gawrych, CSC 

Lord, you teach us that faith can move mountains and bear fruit of justice and peace in our world. But faced with all the troubles in our world and in our own lives, it is so easy to give into doubt and despair, wondering what difference we could ever make. Renew our faith in you and your power, working through us, so that through our faith, we may become part of your response to all the many prayers of our broken world. Amen.

Saint

St. Bernard of Montjoux, you saved pilgrims in the Alps from avalanches and robbers--pray for us!