Today’s Gospel: Matthew 7:15-20
As a mom, we can easily recognize those choices that our children are asked to make each day. The food that they eat, the things that they watch on tv, and the friends that they listen to, all shape their growth and determine future choices. And it is the same for us as adults. We need only to glimpse the events of the day and the discernment called for in this gospel passage becomes clear.
What nourishes us at our roots will determine the fruit that we bear or even if we are to bear fruit at all. Because of this, we are asked to test with certainty that what occupies our thoughts, captures our hearts, and feeds our souls is worthy. And when the Spirit reveals otherwise, we must be willing to decisively cast away that which is detrimental to our physical and spiritual life in Christ. While the faults of others may be more than evident, Christ is calling us to examine our own heart first before we attempt to counsel one another.
So, what are the fruits? In Galatians, St. Paul speaks of the ‘fruits of the Spirit’ as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These good fruits take time to grow in our lives, and require attention and practice. In fact, it is far easier to produce bad fruit or to allow fruit to ruin on the vine.
Yet, through prayer and Word, God gives us both the tools for pruning as well as the ability to be bearers of good fruit. This is the witness that others will come to also see as they look for the rooted faithful to seek shelter with, to lean upon, and grow closer to Christ.
Do I ask God for discernment for the right things in my life? Am I willing to remove that which is not enriching my growth in my relationship with Christ?
God, thank you for choosing to be involved in the most intricate details in my everyday life. Help me to be bold in discerning that which is good and enriches my life in You.
Copyright 2019 Elizabeth Reardon
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