September 10, 2016
The Gospel Today
Saturday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
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. Keith R. Buenaventura)
According to the Gospel, we would know from the kind of fruit that we produce what lies deep inside our souls. Our soul is strong and healthy if we are living out charity, honesty, faithfulness and all other good things. Our soul becomes weak and sickly if we live in anger, malice, selfishness, lust, and all other bad things. What we need to do is to change from within—go deep down to the root of our defects, heal our soul in the sacrament of penance, and work to build a life of virtue from the very foundation.
When the sun is shining calmly, a house that is built on a weak foundation seems very strong and sturdy. It is hard to believe that it will not withstand the force of rain, wind and floods. The true test of the foundation comes when the rain starts, the wind blows and the floodwaters rise. The test of our spiritual lives comes with temptations, difficulties, disappointments and trials. If we have built our spiritual lives on a firm foundation of virtue, self-denial and union with God, it does not matter how hard the floods come down against us. We can stand firm.
It was almost seven years ago when we were devastated by typhoon Ondoy. Our house, though built on strong foundation, was one of the severely damaged. In those times of trials and difficulties, we chose to believe in the goodness of the Lord. Our faith and trust in God never diminished. If the Lord is our foundation, nothing can destroy us even the strongest storm. While the sun is shining, we must work on building a strong foundation in our souls. So that when troubles come, we will be ready to face those trials by the help of the Lord.