Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.”
We have to accept a commun element of our contemporary world where we live in a world of appeasement, full of lies and dishonesty, which has no value apart from its own right and self-interest. Very often we are hurt when people say the truth. We wish to hear good things about us and desire that plesanteries.
For such mentality, we find that the people in front of us, address us in the sweetness of words, and agitate violently against us, in our absence. Jesus asks us to observe this world and act in a wise and prudent way so that we recognize the world, not by its words and as it appears to be, rather by its intentions and actions. From our part, we as a baptized, called to act according to the Christian faith.
For this we look to Abraham who helps us to act with faith. In him we discover that faith gives us that certainty of divine goodness and helps us to discover in us the divine generosity. In faith we will find patience and kindness. Like Father Abraham, may we be faithful to the divine promise and never refuse to give good fruit, for by our human nature, by the perfection of our humanity, we are called to be divine. May our words and actions be inspired by the divine will.
Action of the day : Be a open book.
«By their fruits you will know them»
+ Fr. Antoni ORIOL i Tataret
(Vic, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, a new evangelic contrast opens up before our eyes, the one between the good tree and the rotten tree. The avowals of Jesus are so simple they look almost simplistic. But we can affirm that they are certainly not! They are not simplistic, as real life is not simplistic either.
This one teaches us good trees can deteriorate and end up by bearing bad fruits while, on the other hand, there may be rotten trees ending up by bearing good fruits. So what does “every good tree bears good fruit” (Mt 7:17) mean? It means that the good one is good as long as he does not stop doing good things. That he does good things and he does not get tired of it. He does good and he does not give up before the temptation to do evil. He does good and perseveres till heroism. He does good and if by any chance he yields to the weariness of acting like this, of falling before the temptation of doing evil, of getting scared before the non-negotiable demand, he sincerely and truly admits it, heartily repents and... restarts all over again.
Ah! And he also does it, amongst other reasons, because he is conscious that if the tree does not bear a good fruit, it will be cut down and thrown into the fire (the fear of God keeps the true vine of the vineyard!). And also because, by being aware through personal and social experience of the goodness of others through their good deeds, he knows that he can be recognized as a good person not only because of his good words but through his facts.
It is not enough to say: “Lord, Lord!” Faith is shown through our works! As St. James wrote: “Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works” (Jm 2:18).