Known By His Fruit

Luke 6: 43-49
1 Cor 10:14-22 / Ps 116

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.
(Luke 6:43)

Let God’s Word be our foundation
That we may live a life of truth;
Down through all our generations,
Our tree “will be known by its fruit.”

“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn-bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When the flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” (Luke 6:43-49)

Reflection

My hometown, Davao City, is blessed with an abundance of fruits. Nestled in the foothills of two extinct volcanoes, the farmlands surrounding the city are very fertile, and with the right elevation and constant rainfall, virtually all kinds of tropical fruits like durian, mangosteen, rambutan, lanzones, mango, marang, pineapple, banana, nangka, and many others abound all year round. The “king” of all these fruits, and which makes Davao famous is durian. Growers of this fruit compete to produce the best in terms of taste, texture of the fruit, aroma, and size. The durian trees grow tall and sturdy, and blending with the other trees, city dwellers can hardly tell that it is a fruit tree. Until its spiky fruits begin to appear. The value of these majestic trees can only be appreciated when their fruits ripen, and discriminating durian consumers buy them for their delicious quality. Only then can the fruits of the grower’s labors in caring and nurturing his trees for many years result in a profitable harvest.

In today’s Gospel of Luke, Jesus teaches how the quality of a person’s character is revealed by the fruits he bears. First, in the way his actions produce results. The fruits of his actions are the results of the good that springs from his heart, just as the actions of an evil person are manifestations of the evil stored within. Second, by the words that he uses, “for out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” And finally, by how he employs the Word of God, making it the foundation of his life. St. James said: “If you consider yourself wise and learned, show it by your good life and let your actions, in all humility, be an example for others.” (Ja.3:13) Like the prudent farmer who picks the best seed stock, and tills his farmland well to produce the best fruits, the upright Christian who orders his life according to the Word of God is what our Lord Jesus was referring to as “a wise man who digs deeply to lay his foundation on solid rock.” Obviously, our Lord was referring to no other but Himself as the Rock. King David reigned successfully because he laid the foundation of his kingdom on God. His beautiful psalm says it so well: “I love you, O Lord, my strength, Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my God… Be my rock and refuge, my secure stronghold, my fortress…” (Psalms 18:2-3; 71:3).

LORD, thank You for making me realize that my life is not made secure by building my hopes on the sands of worldly riches that will easily be washed away. Let your Spirit draw me closer to Your Word, upon which my faith will be made secure, to grow and bear fruit in due season, for the sake of Your kingdom. Amen.

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