The Gospel readings tell us about the story of the “cursed fig tree.” On his way back to Jerusalem Jesus was hungry. He saw a fig tree by the side of the road and went to it, but found nothing on it except leaves.
So He said to the tree, “You will never again bear fruit!” At once the fig tree dried up. The disciples saw this and were astounded.
“How did the fig tree dry up so quickly?” they asked. Jesus answered, “If you believe you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Mt 21:22).
According to the historian Stepannos of Syounie, living in the 7th century, the fig tree “is the circumcised people to whom hungry Jesus came and found no fruit on it, but only seeming life, so as the result of His coming to the tree dried up.”