The Church teaches a robust, manly Faith that requires courage and honesty and clear thinking.   In the Readings *  appointed for this 7th Sunday (after Pentecost) there is a helpful image that points to a clear conclusion.

burning brush

When a tree becomes unproductive, or doesn’t live up to its intended purpose,  it’s taken down, the branches are collected into a pile, and when the time is right,   we burn the bad trees.   The Readings appointed for us today tell us about good and bad trees.

Surprisingly to modern ears, the One who told us “God is Love”  is the same One who teaches us today that “Every tree that bringeth not forth  good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire.”    We being the different kinds of trees, of course.

We’re like trees that produce fruit.  If we live and breathe and move around, we can’t help but produce fruit.   Good fruit is good fruit.   Bad fruit is bad fruit.    There is Good (and bad).  There is Right (and wrong).    Black is not white,  and this is not that.

In the mental, moral, and spiritual confusion of today, it’s easy to throw up our hands and say, Oh well, “God is love,” and He knows me and He’ll find some Good Fruit in me somewhere, in the end, in the Day of Burning.

But then, at the end of our Readings, we read more:  The One who said “God is Love,” and who said “Come unto Me,”  also says today “Not everyone who says about me Lord, Lord…will enter the kingdom of Heaven . . . ”       So just acknowledging that God exists,  just acknowledging that Jesus is the only way to Him, still isn’t  enough because there’s still that problem of “fruits” that our lives are producing.

Plenty of trees, all producing their own quality of fruit.

plenty of trees

The Epistle Reading tells us clearly that when we sink our roots into the mental, moral, and spiritual confusion of the culture around us, our fruit will be bad fruit.

On the other hand,  a life lived in Christ, within Christ,  and for Him, as His servants and friends, will yield the good fruit that leads to life everlasting.

We live;  we make fruit.

Courage, honesty, and clear thinking will help us decide where to place our roots.


*  The Gospel today is Matthew 7:15-21  and the Epistle is Romans 6:19-23


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