Today’s Gospel: Matthew 7:15-20
In this Gospel, Jesus tells us that it is by our fruits that we will be known (“every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit”). This is strangely comforting and disturbing to me at the same time! As a mother, obviously I want my children to be good fruit. And, since I am good fruit tree, I must have born good fruit, right!? Ha. This is comforting.
The problem is, “Am I really good fruit?” I go through long periods of time when I do actually think that I am good. Not perfect by any means, mind you, but still good. I go to Mass, try to make time to pray regularly, put my best efforts forth to care for my family, etc. Good stuff going on, so I must be a good person!
Then something or someone (usually my husband!) points out that I’m not as good as I think that I am! Just last night, I was reading the story of Our Lady of Fatima that showed up in my mailbox. The traveling statue of Our Lady under this title is coming to our town and the foundation would like to know if we would like a turn to host her!? Because we are afraid that Our Lady would not be in one piece anymore when she left (there are six children under age 8 here), we declined! But, I love the easy-to-read story.
I was reading that one of the little children whom Mary appeared to, Lucia, asked Mary if all three of the little children (Lucia and her two cousins) would one day be in heaven. Mary said yes about the two girls, but that the little boy would have to spend time in purgatory. This struck me. Mary was appearing to this little boy (although she did not speak directly to him) and he still did not get straight into heaven. Uh oh! What does that mean for me…and for most of us perhaps? I am most certainly not worthy of visions, so surely I will not go straight to heaven either!? In all honesty, purgatory is just fine as long as I do not go down the road to hell (the Gospel also says that every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire!). All of this has me thinking that I had better do a good examination of conscience, go to Confession soon, and try to live a much better life!
How can we be sure that we are bearing good fruit?
Please God, give me the grace to see myself as I really am, and the graces necessary to bear good fruits in this life!
Copyright 2014 Trish Bolster