June 25: Wednesday of Week 12 of Ordinary Time, Year A-II:
2Kings 22:8-13, 23:1-3; Psalm 119:33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40; Matthew 7:15-20
A thought for those who want to reveal the risen Jesus in their lifestyle.
“Every good tree bears good fruit.” Matthew 7:17
Jesus both promises we will bear fruit, and warns that if we don’t, we are not united to the vine (John 15:5). This is a guideline for identifying good and bad prophets. But first we have to recognize good and bad fruit.
“Good fruit” is a way of life that embodies the New Law of Jesus. “Bad fruit” is anything less than that; for example, a good human life, a life that is “sub-Christian” because based on the “old law” of the Ten Commandments, a life acceptable to ordinary “good people” in our culture.
Jesus said, “If you belong to the world, the world will love you as its own. Because I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you” (see John 15:19). Christians who “fit in” are not Christian.
We will not find “prophets” among those who “put on fine clothing and live in luxury.” Or “in royal palaces” (Luke 7:25). Or in the offices of auto- isolated administrators.
It is significant that Pope Francis refuses to wear the traditional finery of the hierarchy or to live in the papal palace. He wears a white cassock and lives in the Vatican guest house. He says, “Evangelizers take on the ‘smell of the sheep’” (Joy of the Gospel 24).
“By their fruits you will know them.” If we can distinguish “good fruit” from bad.
PRAY: “Lord, keep me one with you.”