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 thorn bushes, 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."
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus I believe that the commands you give derive from your love for me and your desire for my happiness. Help me to trust you even when I don’t understand everything. I believe that there is no one who loves me as you do, and no one is more worthy of my love than you. Assist me in this prayer to know you better and to love you more.
Petition: Lord, grant me the graces to be authentic in my self–giving. Help me to live the Gospel as the guide for my life and always follow you as my ideal.
1. Known bBy Its Fruits. Today´s Gospel passage follows on yesterday’s where we find a very significant question urging us not to be presumptuous and hypocritical: "Why do you notice the splinter in your brother´s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?" (Luke 6:41). How easy it is to notice other people´s defects and sins, but not see our own! How can we tell if our eye is clear or if a wooden beam impedes it? The test is in our actions. As Jesus tells us: "Every good tree is known by its own fruit." The fruit represents our actions and words. From these we know the quality of the tree. In fact, good people bring forth good things from their heart and bad people bring forth evil. Jesus here echoes the ancient saying of Sirach: "The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had; so too does a man´s speech disclose the bent of his mind" (Sirach 27:6).
2. Christ-centered. “Building your individual and community edifice on rock means endeavoring to grow always in the sublime knowledge of Christ. It means looking to him to shape your lives according to his message, and so, firmly rooted in faith and charity, to be equipped for looking after Christ´s interests at every moment. In this way you will be able to acquire that interior strength which defies rain, floods, and wind. You will build the kingdom of God in today’s society, especially among the youth …, so in need of lived certainties –– certainties derived from an unshakeable faith and trust in Christ. Christ, dead and risen again, who is the principle of new life for us, is always at our side as a guarantee of victory amidst adversity” (Homily of Pope John Paul II, June 28, 1979).
3. Digging Deep. It is costly to dig deep. Just the quantity of earth to be moved can be daunting. Add to this the cost of removing the rocks and roots likely to be found, and it begins to be more appealing to build a house directly on the surface. Yet to build a structure that will last, we need to sink good foundations. This is a principle also applicable to our spiritual life. If we hope to have a life of virtue that will stand the storms and the test of time, we need to be willing to work patiently and with a plan, going deep.
Dialogue with Christ: You are my rock, Lord Jesus. In you I always find security amid the storms of life. You are my shelter from all the attacks of the enemy. Keep me well-rooted in prayer and the sacraments so that I may bear good fruit for your kingdom. Never let me be satisfied with less than the plan you have for me. Don’t let me be taken in by the flashy but shallow temptations the world has to offer. Help me to stay always faithful to you.
Resolution: I will read today from a good book about Christ and strive to know him better.