GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 12TH OCTOBER 2016
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 12TH OCTOBER 2016
WEDNESDAY OF THE 28TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
1ST READING: Gal 5:18-25
PSALM: Psalm 1:1-4, 6
GOSPEL: Luke 11:42-46
THEME: FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
Rotten fruits do not qualify to ascend unto the dining table of a king or noble person for consumption. They are discarded. Similarly, a rotten life cannot make it into the Kingdom of God.
I live in a place that has an orange orchard. The trees have fruits on them alright and yet in recent times we prefer to go and buy oranges far away in town. Why? The fruits on our compound have been infected with bacteria and thus have become unwholesome. In the same way, you can be on the compound of the Lord (the Church) and yet if your fruits are not wholesome you would not make it to the banquet hall of the Kingdom of God.
Paul, in the First Reading, contrasts the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit. Concerning the works of the flesh, he writes, “I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:21). He then proceeds to elaborate on the fruit of the Spirit – “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things” (Gal 5:22-23).
The expression “Fruit of the Spirit” presupposes a relationship with the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who gives one the ability to bear love, joy, peace etc. The Pharisees and the lawyers who were denounced by Jesus in our Gospel text had the LAW but not the SPIRIT of the law. Consequently, they were unable to bear the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus tells the Pharisees, “Woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God” (Lk. 11:42).
It is not enough to be called Christians; we need to have the Spirit of Christ at work in us so that we can bear fruits that would bring transformation to our world. For those of us who feel already rotten, there is hope. When a rotten fruit, allows itself to undergo the process of dying in a healthy environment, its seeds sprout into a tree and with time bears good fruits in abundance. When we too, in Christ, die to ourselves, we would shoot up into healthy plants and with time bear good fruits.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, pardon me for all those moments when I have not glorified you with my life. I turn to you anew. Fill me with your Spirit and cause me to bear good fruits. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen)