Sunday, March 3, 2019
Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.” Luke 6:43
Conversely, it should be said that a good tree does bear good fruit. This must be our goal. By saying that “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit,” Jesus is teaching us the supernatural effect of living a holy life. When we live a life grounded in Christ, the effect will be that good fruit is born from our lives. This is an important spiritual principle to understand.
Hopefully, we all want to live good lives. We all want to make a difference in our world and in the lives of others for the good. But the fundamental question to ask is how do we do this? The answer is that it’s not so much a matter of choosing the good actions we do; rather, on a more basic and fundamental level, we must choose to live a life grounded in Christ, thus becoming a “good tree.”
If you want to bear good fruit and make a holy and positive difference in the world, then you need to do one primary thing. Work at becoming holy. To use the image that Jesus gives, see yourself as a tree that is planted in the ground. See your roots stretching far and wide. See yourself being nourished and basked in the Sun. And see yourself growing and flourishing.
This is the life of grace and the effect is that good fruit automatically comes forth. The life of grace is accomplished by focusing upon your own health and spiritual well-being. You become this “good tree” by doing the basics well. First, pray, pray well and pray hard. Let your life be centered in prayer. Second, learn your faith. Listen to the Gospels, learn all that God has revealed through the Church, read the teachings of the saints, and learn from other holy people. Third, live a good sacramental life. Go to Mass, celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, understand the grace of your Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, Ordination, etc. Know that the Sacraments nourish you in powerful ways and embrace that nourishment with your whole heart.
Reflect, today, upon the important mission you have been given to go forth and to bear an abundance of good fruit in our world. This mission can be accomplished only as a result of a life of holiness. This holiness is only accomplished when your roots are firmly grounded in the life of grace. Embrace this life of grace through the many means that God has set before you, and know that the commitment you make to holiness will bring health not only to your own soul, but also to the souls of those whom God will touch through you.
Lord, I love You and I give my life to You. I pray that I may be planted in the fertile soil of Your abundant love and mercy. Help me to be nourished by the life of grace You have lavished upon me and, as I grow in holiness, bring forth an abundance of good fruit in my life. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saint of the Day – Saint Katharine Drexel