Jesus said to the crowd, «No healthy tree bears bad fruit, no poor tree bears good fruit. And each tree is known by the fruit it bears: you don't gather figs from thorns, or grapes from brambles. Similarly the good person draws good things from the good stored in the heart, and an evil person draws evil things from the evil stored in the heart. For the mouth speaks from the fullness of the heart.
»Why do you call me: ‘Lord! Lord!’ and not do what I say? I will show you what the one who comes to me and listens to my words and acts accordingly, is like. That one is like the builder who dug deep and laid the foundations of his house on rock. The river overflowed and the stream dashed against the house, but could not carry it off because the house had been well built. But the one who listens and does not act, is like a man who built his house on the ground without a foundation. The flood burst against it, and the house fell at once: and what a terrible disaster that was!».
Life is filled with troubles and temptations. It’s never an easy task, forcing all those who search for truth, to enter into an adventurous path. St. Paul in the first reading gives us a very good testimony his past adventurous life, which was elevated and blessed by divine forgiveness. He shares with us his experience of pardon and mercy, because deep inside him, God was alive. Everything he did was in his ignorance, far from the true faith that Moses taught.
It is quite possible like him that man can err in his discernment. Yet, if his heart is pure and his mind is filled with true love for his God, which is expressed in his forgiveness, by the grace of God, he can easily be converted, and begin a new life, just like Paul who lived fully by and for Christ.
Today Jesus invites us to review our lives and to discover the source of our thinking and the one that guides us from our interiority. We must verify whether the divine will guides us or our personal and carnal interest. A love for God without humanity can totally destroy us, without redemption. We must always make sure that we do not stray from the divine mercy. The troubles of life can disturb us. The winds of wickedness and revenge can upset us.
Faith and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and a heart filled with love and mercy, will help us to always to withstand, and through patience and perseverance, we can always give in due time the fruit that God desires in us. To do this, we must go to the Lord, listen to Him and put into practice all that He tells us.
Action of the day: Keep your faith alive.
«Each tree is known by the fruit it bears»
Fr. Raimondo M. SORGIA Mannai OP
(San Domenico di Fiesole, Florencia, Italy)
Today, the Lord surprises us by “advertising” himself. It is not my intention to “shock” anyone with this assertation. It is only our earthly publicity that lessens the great and supernatural things. What induces us to look at publicity with suspicion are, for instance, promises such as those assuring us that, within a few weeks, we will be losing five or six kilograms if using a certain “trick product” (or others to the same extent). But, when we have a hundred per cent guaranteed “product”, and —as in the case of the Lord— nothing is being sold in exchange of money, and we are only asked to believe him while considering him our leader and a model of a certain life style, then this kind of “publicity” should not surprise us and can be accepted as totally legitimate. Has not Jesus been the greatest “publicist” when He said, «I am the Way and the Truth and the Life» (Jn 14:6)?
Today, He affirms that «the one who comes to me and listens to my words and acts accordingly» is wise and «is like the builder who dug deep and laid the foundations of his house on rock» (Lk 6:47-48), for he now has a well built house, that can face any kind of weather. On the contrary, if the builder is not so sensible, he will end up in the middle of a pile of rubble and, if he was in the house when the flood burst into it, he may lose not only the house but his own life, too.
Therefore, it is not enough to get close to Jesus, but we have to listen, with the maximum attention, to his teachings and, most of all, to prompt them into action. For even the curious, the heretic or the history or philology scholar may approach him... So only by coming close to him, and basically, by practicing Jesus' doctrine, shall we be able to build a building of Christian saintliness, as a paradigm for the faithful pilgrims and glory of the celestial Church.