The quality of your deeds determines the goodness of the fruit that you produce for Christ. In today’s Gospel from Matt 7:15-20, we hear Jesus ask a tongue-in-cheek question. “Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles” (Matt 7:16)? With this question, Jesus is warning us to be on watch for false prophets. How might we identify false prophets? We will know by their deeds, because good fruit cannot be borne from bad acts. Good fruit can only come from a good source. That is why grapes do not come from thornbushes. They come from the vine. Figs, associated with prosperity, well being and security (all good things) come from a fig tree; not a thistle. Both grape vines and fig trees require care, time and attention, as do our souls. If we are to produce good fruit, as true prophets of Christ, then our words and deeds must be good.
Jesus Asks if You are True Prophets of Christ
If Jesus stood in front of you today and asked you if you produced good fruit, and thus would be a true prophet of Christ, how would you respond? Do you:
- Witness to Christ’s salvific action to others? Or, do you deny any type of relationship with Christ?
- Speak kindly of others always? Or, do you speak ill of others behind their backs?
- Perform good deeds, expecting nothing in return? Or, do you perform such deeds with the hope of seeking the admiration and acknowledgement of others?
So, the bottom-line question is: Are you true prophets of Christ? Or false prophets, who only purport to follow Christ?
This is definitely food for thought for all of us today. I would like to think that I produce good fruit. However, I think I might have a dead branch, or two, that requires some pruning. Reflect today on those areas in your life that require some pruning and take the appropriate action, so that when Jesus comes to you and asks, “Do you produce good fruit?” you can answer with a resounding, “yes” because you are true prophets of Christ!
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