Gospel Reflection- Saturday (10 September) – 23rd week of Ordinary Time – A tree and its fruit
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (6: 43-49) in which Jesus says, ‘every tree can be told by its own fruit’ and ‘a good person draws on what is good from the store of goodness in their heart’.
Fr Paul notes that yesterday we heard the first warning and, today, we hear a second warning which uses two images, the fruit-tree and the flood, one positive and one negative.
The abundance of fruit-trees in the Holy Land makes them a natural image to use. The Bible has heaps of examples of olive orchards, vineyards, figs, pomegranates, and incense-bearing trees and more. However, as Jesus says, a rotten and mushy tree can only produce rotten and mushy fruit.
Less obvious in the land of Jesus are floods, and flood-warnings at the utterly dry shore of the Dead Sea seem absurd – till a flash flood from rainfall in the hills sweeps the whole house with no foundations into the sea.
So, there are two pairs of contrasting images (warnings) surrounding the key question, ‘Why do you call me “Lord, Lord, and not do what I say?’. Today’s Gospel is a sad reflection on the stubbornness of the people listening to Jesus.
As our week ends, for our reflection Fr Paul invites us to consider, ‘Am I to stubborn to listen to the Lord?