The Gospel Today
Memorial of St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Luke 6: 43-49
Jesus said to his disciples:
“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit,
nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.
For every tree is known by its own fruit.
For people do not pick figs from thornbushes,
nor do they gather grapes from brambles.
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good,
but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil;
for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I command?
I will show you what someone is like who comes to me,
listens to my words, and acts on them.
That one is like a man building a house,
who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock;
when the flood came, the river burst against that house
but could not shake it because it had been well built.
But the one who listens and does not act
is like a person who built a house on the ground
without a foundation.
When the river burst against it,
it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed.”
Reflection (Sem. Rodel Aclan):
The flood with its strong and fast current damage or even destroy everything on its path. This is a reality that we cannot avoid though maybe sometimes we can escape from it by moving out of its path, but if we will be caught on it we can do nothing but to stay and try to withstand its disastrous rush . Our safety and that of our properties depend on the strength of our houses , how well it was founded and constructed will tell us if it can survive the flood. In our Gospel today, it also speaks of houses and its foundation but this time it is not only about the foundation that can withstand strong flood. The gospel message is about how well our life is founded in the Words of our Lord. Many people including me hear the Word of Jesus and most of us are moved and sometimes even bring us to tears. But there is another requirements aside from hearing the Word in order to have a well founded life and that is acting on the Word of God. This is where many of us fall short. The Words of Jesus are not just empty rhetoric or collection of beautiful words that only appeal to our minds and emotions, but rather the Words of Jesus are alive and meant to be lived out , to be acted and to be shared with others. It is only when our lives and our way of life are anchored and founded in His word that we can endure the strong rushing current of everyday trials and difficulties.
As I further reflected on this Gospel , it came to my mind the many times I failed to live out the Word of God even though it stuck and inspired me. I failed to do what Jesus was telling me to do through the Scripture. For these are the reasons why my commitment to Him trembled when temptations and difficulties come. I tend to regain control of my life, I easily get back the surrender of my life from Him. Since this is not what God wants to happen, I know He keeps on inviting me not only to hear His Words but to listen and experience it by living all His teaching. It is only through experiencing and living the Word of God that I can start to feel Him and build my life, and using Him as the foundation so that when the strong current of floods of trials and difficulties will come, I am assured that my life will not stumble because He is the rock where my foundation is built.