Saturday, September 13, 2014

Known By Its Own Fruit

The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ?  The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the Body of Christ?  Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one Body, for we all partake of the one loaf.  1 COR 10:16-17

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.  Luke 6:44-45

We are one in the Spirit.
We are one in the Lord.
We are one in the Spirit.
We are one in the Lord.
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.
Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love.
How congruent are our actions with what we listen to coming from the mouth of Jesus and the prophets?  In the Gospel, Luke tells us once again how Jesus challenges the hypocrisy of the people.  “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I command?” he cries out in frustration. 

There emerges two essential duties of Christians:  listening and acting.  If we listen and do not incorporate the lessons into our lives, then we might as well be deaf.  This is opposed to the criticism Jesus levels at the Pharisees who say one thing and do another.  This goes to the heart and minds of his followers.

Comparing us to fruit trees and thorn bushes is an interesting choice.  Fruit trees can do nothing except produce fruit.  You can read to the trees Nobel Prize speeches or the Gospel of St. Luke and they will still produce fruit.  They cannot do otherwise.  When properly tended (pruned, watered, harvested), the fruit will be good.  If not properly tended, the fruit could be rotten by the time we try to harvest it.  Even if we act accordingly, there are outside forces (weather, bugs, birds or animals) which could get to the fruit first and destroy it – or at least spoil it before we can consume it.

Conversely, thorn bushes can do nothing but produce thorns.  You cannot get the bush to decide to produce apples or grapes or figs or even flowers.  If the weather, bugs, or animals attack a thorn bush, who cares?  It is not like it would amount to anything.  Almost like a prophet in his home country…

Children of God have a choice.  We can produce good fruit or rotten fruit.  Unlike the plant and animal kingdoms, we can change our very nature by what we listen to and how we act.

To what are you listening?  How does it affect your actions?

Making time and room in your life for the daily practice of piety, study and action will not let the demons of idolatry (the forces of the weather, bugs or animals) attack your faith. It crowds out these temptations before they can take hold and attack your fruits.  If we give in to the attacking forces (idolatry), then we put at risk our very communion with the friendship we have with Jesus.

Will they know we are Christians by our love? 

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