Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (11: 11-26) which recounts some episodes from Jesus’s visit to Jerusalem including the cursing of the fig tree and the cleansing of the Temple. Through this Gospel, Fr Paul says, we are getting closer and closer to the confrontation between Jesus and the Temple authorities. The fig tree we hear of in this Gospel is an illustration: Israel was not bearing the fruit as was intended; Judaism has lost its way; it was no longer a way of prayer and worship. Quite simply, says Fr Paul, it has lost the plot. Temple worship had become a business and, perhaps, not an honest one either so taking this stance now puts Jesus at odds with the authorities. For our reflection today, Fr Paul says, we might recall those last words of the Gospel ‘and when you stand prayer, forgive whatever you have anything against anybody; so that your Father in heaven may forgive your failings, too, but if you do not forgive your Father in heaven will not forgive your failings either.’