Then there are the mornings when engaging with the readings is like trying to drink from a fire fighter’s hose…
“How lonely sits the city that once was full of people!” This coronavirus disaster, in the USA both natural and human in origin (google comparative national infection and unemployment rates)… Some mornings we may not get past the first reading.
When, and only when, we’re ready to do something other than lament, the other readings offer two paths. Paul: solidarity, in the form of consolation (or encouragement). How might I console, encourage, show solidarity? Which groups particularly need our solidarity?
Mark sandwiches one sign-act (the cursing of the fig tree) around another (the cleansing of the temple). Both seem to point to the temple’s destruction (cue Lamentations?). G-d also is in the game; G-d bats last. And Jesus points to our second path: prayer. Prayer, unlimited in power (vv.23-24), but with a demanding requirement: “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” I wonder: the demand to forgive does not immobilize Jesus (see the two sign-acts); how does the demand affect how he carries these out?
Between lamentation, solidarity, prayer and forgiveness my hands need not be idle.