Weekend Reflections for 3/22/19
Grafted like branches into the Vine (who is Jesus), you and I are meant to bear fruit. Adopted into God's family, our subsequent fruitfulness that is meant to feed the needs of others is not an extra plus, but a strict necessity.
Jesus compares us to a fig tree in this Sunday's Gospel. If we are not fruitful towards others, even after extra cultivating by the Lord, we will be cut down, for we are not fulfilling our purpose.
What are these fruits that Jesus is speaking about? They are twofold. First, they are the fruits of the Holy Spirit, meaning the Holy Spirit must be evident and active in our souls. Galatians chapter 5 lists these fruits, in order, as: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the signs or fruits that the Holy Spirit is clearly operating within us. Our fig tree will stand.
The other fruits Jesus is speaking about are Godly works. Being grafted into Jesus' body by the gift of faith warmly received, I begin to walk in all the good works God has prepared for me beforehand (Ephesians 2). Living within these works of the Holy Spirit, my tree will stand.
How is Jesus calling me today to surrender my life more completely to the Holy Spirit, to let him be the Lord of my life in all things, and not only occasionally? Radical surrender to his Holy Spirit is not only what Jesus is asking of us, but more than that, requiring of us in order for our tree to remain.
-Fr. Anthony Wieck, SJ