Fruits of faith

8th Sunday in Ordinary Time: ’Luke 6:39-45’

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By Msgr. Josefino S. Ramirez

SUNDAY GOSPEL IN OUR LIFE

There is no good tree that bears bad fruit, nor is there a bad tree that bears good “fruit. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:43-45).

 Here we see that our Christian life cannot be kept only in the private and internal sphere. It has to pour out into our actions and into our social life. We can apply this teaching to the greatest supernatural gift that we have received from God—our faith.

God seeks the fruits of all the graces that He has given us. If He has given us the grace of faith, which fills our life with light and meaning, it must necessarily be manifested in works. It must yield fruit of a more upright moral life spent in the service of God and neighbor.

For example, it would not be enough to reduce the sphere of our faith to a few hours a week. We must live consistently as Christians in every situation in which we may find ourselves—in our places of work, in the intimacy of the family and when we are with friends.

Besides, our Christian life must reach out to help the people around us. We must be interested in uplifting the material and spiritual lives of the members of the family, of the people who work with us and of all our friends.

We can’t remain indifferent, for example, if we see that harm is being done to people, especially in their moral life. As we go through the streets of Manila and see pornographic material being peddled around corrupting the morals of old and young alike, a living faith would be moved to do something about it.

There are some who reject the faith outright, refusing to submit their minds to the light that God gives. At the bottom of this is an attitude of self-sufficiency even in those things in which man’s individual strength is clearly inadequate.

Still others reject the faith while wanting to keep an appearance of respectability. They say they believe in God and in the teachings of the Church, but then their belief has very little bearing on their lives.

When confronted by the greater demands of their faith, they get uneasy, or try to brush it aside like a bothersome pest. The weakness of their faith is manifested, above all, by the lack of fruits in their own lives and in the lives of the people around them.

The need to do good, to uplift our neighbor, is an obligation for all Christians and not only for those who profess a consecration to God, such as priests and religious. Each and every Christian has the obligation to do apostolate, to make the faith he has received in baptism bear fruit.

A faith that does not seek the improvement of oneself and of others, a fruitless faith, will eventually be taken away.