THE FRUITS OF COVENANT
IS SEEN IN LOVE
IS SEEN IN LOVE
The fruit of a disciple is marked by faith, hope, love, justice, prudence, fortitude, and temperance. Do we cultivate good fruit in our lives and reject whatever produces bad fruit?
Looks can fool us! How do you know when someone or something is genuine? Jesus' warning about false prophets and teachers applies today as well. What's the test of a true or false teacher? Jesus connects "soundness" with good fruit. Something is sound when it is free from defect, decay, or disease and only when it is healthy. Good fruit is the result of sound living; living according to moral truth and an upright character.
Today, in the first reading of the Book of Kings, the story is clear enough that it speaks of something relevant to all of us, which is the rediscovery of our covenant with God or the renewal of our relationship with Him. We do this most solemnly and formally once a year through our renewal of baptismal promises at Easter. And if we know ourselves sufficiently well, we find ourselves doing it much more often, though less formally. Here, toward the end of June and only a few months after Easter, it would be most appropriate to reflect once more on our commitment to God and how we are living it out. And so we need to trust in the true teachings of Jesus, which we now receive from the Church and Its leaders.
Jesus reminds us that the authenticity of the Church's leaders will be revealed by their deeds more than by their words. It's the same with all of us who are members of Christ's Body. Our covenant with God in and through His Son, Jesus, is shown to be genuine if our deeds are good and if they bear real fruit. All human beings experience moral ups and downs. Even leaders (Bishops) cannot be expected to be superhuman and beyond human failings. But like all of us they must be willing to begin again and again.
This happens by being true; true to God, true to His Word and to His grace. That takes character! If we are true to God we know that our strength lies not in ourselves but in God Who supplies all that we need. The fruit of a disciple is marked by faith, hope, love, justice, prudence, fortitude, and temperance. Do we cultivate good fruit in our lives and reject whatever produces bad fruit?
The king was inspired to make a covenant before the Lord. Likewise, all the people stood as an example to us in our own community today, inspiring us to pray as the Psalmist directs, "Teach me the way of Your decrees, O Lord. Instruct me, O Lord, in the way of Your statutes, that I may exactly observe them" (Ps. 119:33-34).
May we seek to be perfected!