A tree known by its fruit; the two foun­da­tions

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Gospel Read­ing: Lk 6:43-49

JE­SUS said to his dis­ci­ples: “A good tree does not bear rot­ten fruit, nor does a rot­ten tree bear good fruit. For ev­ery tree is known by its own fruit. For peo­ple do not pick figs from thorn­bushes, nor do they gather grapes from bram­bles. A good per­son out of the store of good­ness in his heart pro­duces good, but an evil per­son out of a store of evil pro­duces evil; for from the full­ness of the heart the mouth speaks.

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I com­mand? I will show you what some­one is like who comes to me, lis­tens to my words, and acts on them. That one is like a per­son build­ing a house, who dug deeply and laid the foun­da­tion on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it be­cause it had been well built. But the one who lis­tens and does not act is like a per­son who built a house on the ground with­out a foun­da­tion. When the river burst against it, it col­lapsed at once and was com­pletely de­stroyed.”

RE­FLEC­TION

Ev­ery tree is known by its own fruit

In his para­bles Je­sus makes use of or­di­nary life events and nat­u­ral phe­nom­ena to give us a peek into how God’s King­dom works in the lives of peo­ple. Here in the para­ble, Je­sus presents a pic­ture with which peo­ple in his time and in ours could easily re­late. A good fruit is picked from a good tree and a rot­ten fruit from a bad tree. This is the law of na­ture. The prophets have used the fruit as a metaphor for deeds, ei­ther good or bad (cf Hos 10:13; Jer 24:3). The wise man Sirach tells this proverb: “The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had; so speech dis­closes the bent of a per­son’s heart” (Sir 27:6).

In the same vein, Je­sus says that a per­son’s char­ac­ter is re­vealed by his words and deeds. In the con­text of Je­sus’ teach­ing against crit­i­ciz­ing oth­ers, the Gospel points out that only one who can show by his con­duct that he is re­ally good can in­spire oth­ers to change.

Re­flect on this: “I can­not hear what you are say­ing

be­cause what you are thun­ders in my ears.”

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: pub­lish­ing@stpauls.ph; Web­site: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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