Daily Reflection for Wednesday, June 22 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends, and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Wednesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 2 Kings 22:8-13, 23:1-3
Responsorial: Psalm 119:33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40
Gospel: Matthew 7:15-20
Our reflection on Wednesday’s readings:
“By their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7:16 and 20
The short Gospel reading today twice states “By their fruits you will know them.”
I think this scripture line is often used, misused, and misunderstood. I cannot tell you exactly what it means, I just know what it does not mean.
It does not mean we can judge people by our standards and measurements.
It does not mean that a faithful Christian will not have a child who struggles with drugs, alcohol, depression, or religion. Many times, I heard my grandmother say, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” The implication was that children are a reflection of their parents. The fruits of which Jesus speaks are greater than this.
It does not mean that a charismatic preacher who charms thousands of followers is successfully bringing people to follow Christ’s teachings. He may simply have a message people want to hear rather than to discern for themselves what Jesus is telling them, and then to follow the path of Jesus. The fruits of which Jesus speaks are greater than this.
It is not the many milestones in life we accomplish and applaud. Fifty years of marriage. Perfect church attendance. Many years of service in ministry, volunteering, or financially supporting causes. All these achievements are good, but the fruits of which Jesus speaks are greater than this.
So what are these fruits by which we will recognize others and they will recognize us?
The first reading today concerns making a covenant with God, that we follow Him and obey “his ordinances, statutes and decrees.” God sent His son, Jesus, to show us the way. In Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus answers the question of the greatest commandment in the law. “Love God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.” Jesus followed this with the second greatest commandment, “love your neighbor as yourself.” This is our living covenant with God.
Through our connection with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, the fruits of which Jesus spoke will come alive. When we follow Jesus and do as he instructs, our actions will bear fruit.
Blessings to you,