Bulletin: March 3, 2019
EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
WORDS AND FRUIT
What do these two things have in common? In Luke’s Gospel today, Jesus uses the image of a fruit tree to explain the importance of speaking with care. If the tree is healthy (that is, good), we expect to enjoy tasty fruit, but no one would pick the fruit of a tree that appears to be diseased. Good fruit is like good words that indicate one’s spiritual growth and maturity—a person whose heart and words are filled with goodness. We will be known as good or evil by the qualities—of mercy and compassion, or pride and selfishness—that come from our hearts and enter the world through our mouth. We hear similar advice from the book of Sirach in our first reading. Just as the fruit will indicate whether or not the tree from which it came was healthy, so too do our words indicate what we think, how we view the world and our neighbors. Words are important, indeed.
ACTIONS AND VICTORY
But what about our actions? These surely are also signs of goodness or the opposite, aren’t they? Today’s psalm sings about the just ones who will be like trees flourishing in the house of the Lord, bearing fruit throughout their lives. Justice implies action— mercy, compassion, love. In the second reading, Paul advises the Corinthians to devote themselves to the work of the Lord, that their labors would not be in vain, because the reward of acting with integrity is victory over sin and death. The person of justice and integrity acts and speaks from a new heart, made possible by Jesus’ sacrifice. Do actions speak louder than words? Maybe between this Gospel and last week’s, when Jesus told us to love our enemies, Jesus is showing us that both are vital and essential aspects of following the life of discipleship. May our fruit always reflect the sweetness of living a good life.
Today’s Readings: Sir 27:4–7; Ps 92:2–3, 13–14, 15–16; 1 Cor 15:54– 58; Lk 6:39–45