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A tree known by its fruit; the two foundations

Gospel Reading: Lk 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 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.”

Every tree is known by its own fruit
In his parables Jesus makes use of ordinary life events and natural phenomena to give us a peek into how God’s Kingdom works in the lives of people. Here in the parable, Jesus presents a picture with which people in his time and in ours could easily relate. A good fruit is picked from a good tree and a rotten fruit from a bad tree. This is the law of nature. The prophets have used the fruit as a metaphor for deeds, either good or bad (cf Hos 10:13; Jer 24:3).

The wise man Sirach tells this proverb: “The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had; so speech discloses the bent of a person’s heart” (Sir 27:6).

In the same vein, Jesus says that a person’s character is revealed by his words and deeds. In the context of Jesus’ teaching against criticizing others, the Gospel points out that only one who can show by his conduct that he is really good can inspire others to change.

Reflect on this: “I cannot hear what you are saying because what you are thunders in my ears.”

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