June 22, 2016

Gospel MT 7:15-20
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but underneath are ravenous wolves.
By their fruits you will know them.
Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Just so, every good tree bears good fruit,
and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down
and thrown into the fire.
So by their fruits you will know them.”
“Just so, every good tree bears good fruit,
and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.”
For me, life is not always so “black or white,” so clearly defined.
What about the tree that has been damaged by storm and wind, fire and flood?
Perhaps because of the damage it has incurred trying to survive in a harsh environment, it does have some areas of rot. But, at its core, it may still be good.
This is the tree that I can relate to.
Most people I know (especially me) seem to be a combination of both good and bad.
The seed from which the tree springs is taken by the wind and has no control where it lands. It falls where it may.
If the seed falls on good ground it is indeed fortunate, for it lays in fertile soil.
But, if the seed falls on barren or contaminated soil, it has to fight harder to survive and bear eatable fruit.
The parable is not so much about the tree itself as it is about the fruit that it bears.
I have definitely produced some thistles and thorns in my life. But, hopefully I have borne more sweet fruits than spoiled.
I believe that the tears of God, our loving parent, waters the seed that struggles to become a tree capable of bearing good fruit.
“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.” – – Ralph Waldo Emerson