Posted by: RAM | September 9, 2016

Saturday (September 10): “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit.”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of Our Lady of Sorrows
Saturday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 442

First Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:14-22
Psalms 116:12-13, 17-18:  To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
Gospel: Luke 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 man 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.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/091016.cfm

Reflection:  Why does Jesus set figs and grapes over against thorns and brambles? The fig tree was the favorite of all trees for the people of Palestine. It symbolized fertility, peace, and prosperity. Grapes, likewise, produced wine, the symbol of joy. Thorns and brambles were only good for burning as fuel for the fire. There’s a proverbial saying that you know a tree by its fruit. Likewise a person will produce good or bad fruit depending on what is sown in the heart. Charles Read said: “Sow an act and you reap a habit.  Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.” Character, like fruit, doesn’t grow overnight. It takes a lifetime.

A healthy and sound mind produces good fruit
Jesus connects soundness with good fruit. Something is sound when it is free from defect, decay, or disease and is healthy. Good fruit is the result of sound living – living according to moral truth and upright character. The prophet Isaiah warned against the dangers of falsehood: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness (Isaiah 5:20). The fruits of falsehood produce an easy religion which takes the iron out of religion, the cross out of Christianity, and any teaching which eliminates the hard sayings of Jesus, and which push the judgments of God into the background and makes us think lightly of sin.

How do we avoid falsehood and bad fruit? By being true – true to God, his word, and his grace. And that takes character! Those who are true to God know that their strength lies not in themselves but in God who supplies the grace  we need to live as his disciples. The fruit of a disciple is marked by faith, hope and love, justice, prudence, fortitude and temperance. Do you cultivate good fruit in your life and reject whatever produces bad fruit?

What kind of foundation are you building your life?
Jesus told another story about the importance of building on the right foundation to reinforce his lesson about sound living. When Jesus told the story of the builders he likely had the following proverb in mind: When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm for ever (Proverbs 10:25). What’s the significance of the story for us? The kind of foundation we build our lives upon will determine whether we can survive the storms that are sure to come. Builders usually lay their foundations when the weather and soil conditions are at their best. It takes foresight to know how a foundation will stand up against adverse conditions. Building a house on a flood plain, such as a dry river-bed, is a sure bet for disaster!

Our character is revealed in the choices we make
Jesus prefaced his story with a warning: We may fool other people with our speech and gestures, but God cannot be deceived. He sees the heart as it truly is – with its motives, intentions, desires, and choices (Psalm 139:2). There is only one way in which a person’s sincerity can be proved, and that is by one’s practice. Fine words can never replace good deeds. Our character is revealed in the choices we make, especially when we are tested. Do you cheat on an exam or on your income taxes, especially when it will cost you? Do you lie, or cover-up, when disclosing the truth will cause you  injury or embarrassment? A true person is honest and reliable before God, themselves, and their neighbor. Their word can be counted on. What foundation is your life built upon?

“Lord Jesus, you are the sure foundation and source of life and strength for us. Give me wisdom and strength to live according to your truth and to reject every false way.  May I be a doer of your word and not a hearer only.” http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/sep10.htm  www.dailyscripture.net author Don Schwager © 2016 Servants of the Word

Saint of the Day:  Saint Thomas of Villanova (1488 – September 8, 1555)
Saint Thomas was from Castile in Spain and received his surname from the town where he was raised. He received a superior education at the University of Alcala and became a popular professor of philosophy there.

After joining the Augustinian friars at Salamanca, he was ordained and resumed his teaching–despite a continuing absentmindedness and poor memory. He became prior and then provincial of the friars, sending the first Augustinians to the New World. He was nominated by the emperor to the archbishopric of Granada, but refused. When the see again became vacant he was pressured to accept. The money his cathedral chapter gave him to furnish his house was given to a hospital instead. His explanation to them was that “our Lord will be better served by your money being spent on the poor in the hospital. What does a poor friar like myself want with furniture?”

He wore the same habit that he had received in the novitiate, mending it himself. The canons and domestics were ashamed of him, but they could not convince him to change. Several hundred poor came to Thomas’s door each morning and received a meal, wine, and money. When criticized because he was at times being taken advantage of, he replied, “If there are people who refuse to work, that is for the governor and the police to deal with. My duty is to assist and relieve those who come to my door.” He took in orphans and paid his servants for every deserted child they brought to him. He encouraged the wealthy to imitate his example and be richer in mercy and charity than they were in earthly possessions.

Criticized because he refused to be harsh or swift in correcting sinners, he said, “Let him (the complainer) inquire whether Saint Augustine and Saint John Chrysostom used anathemas and excommunication to stop the drunkenness and blasphemy which were so common among the people under their care.”

As he lay dying, Thomas commanded that all the money he possessed be distributed to the poor. His material goods were to be given to the rector of his college. Mass was being celebrated in his presence when after Communion he breathed his last, reciting the words: “Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.”

Thomas of Villanova was already called in his lifetime “the almsgiver” and “the father of the poor.” He was canonized in 1658. https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-thomas-of-villanova/ 

More Saints of the Day
St. Achilleus
Bl. Agnes Takea
Bl. Agnes Tsao-Kou Ying
Bl. Angelus Orsucci
Bl. Anthony Kiun
Bl. Anthony of Korea
Bl. Anthony Sanga
Bl. Anthony Vom
St. Apollinaris Franco
St. Autbert
Bl. Bartholomew Shikiemon
St. Barypsabas
St. Candida the Younger
St. Cosmas of Aphrodisia
Bl. Damien Yamiki
Bl. Dominic Nakano
St. Dominic Shamada
St. Finian
St. Francis de Morales
St. Frithestan
Bl. Gundislavus Fusai
St. Hyacinth Orfanel
Bl. John Kingoku
Bl. John of Korea
St. Joseph of St. Hyacinth
St. Leo Satsuma
Bl. Louis Kawara
Bl. Lucy de Freitas
Bl. Mary Tokuan & Mary Choun
Bl. Mary Tanaura
Bl. Mary Tokuan & Mary Choun
St. Menodora
Bl. Michael Shumpo
Bl. Michael Yamiki
St. Nemesian, Felix, and Companions
Bl. Paul Tanaka
St. Peter Martinez
Bl. Peter Nangashi
Bl. Peter of Avila
Bl. Peter Sampo
Bl. Peter Sanga
Bl. Richard of St. Ann
St. Salvius of Albi
Bl. Sebastian Kimura
Bl. Thecla Nangashi
St. Theodard of Maastricht
Bl. Thomas of the Holy Rosary
Bl. Thomas Sherwood
St. Veranus of Vence

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Manila, Philippines

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