Deacon Tom's Homily for Thursday June 28th 2018


By their fruits you will know them

While I was preparing for my homily today I came across a reflection that I found helpful to understand today’s readings. The reflection was by Blessed Columba Marmion, Abbot (1858-1923) He said that three spirits strive for mastery in every soul. There is the spirit of falsehood and blasphemy that, since the beginning, has always suggested the contrary to whatever God whispers in our ear. There is also the spirit of the world that inclines us to judge things according to our senses and lust of the flesh. But as St. Paul tells us, the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God[1].By their fruits you will know them

Then there is the Spirit of God that inspires us to lift our hearts above nature and to live by faith. This Spirit focuses us towards a loving faith and the abandonment of ourselves into the hands of God. It brings forth the fruits of which Saint Paul speaks: love, joy, peace, discipline, kindness, goodness and faithfulness, Our Lord spoke to us yesterday: “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?[2]” By your baptism and confirmation, the Holy Spirit is a living fountain in your soul. If you are faithful, the Holy Spirit will become your guide and will bear you along with him into the bosom of God.

Today’s passage from Second Kings is one key moment of the Babylonian captivity, portraying it as God’s punishment for the evil ways of Judah’s kings. A frequent figure of these ancient stories is a God who punishes through military defeat. But I don’t believe God punishes by violent enslavement to enemies. I believe God’s power saves and brings peace.

But we can be seized into captivity, however, as treasures of our spirits are looted. Something beautiful and valuable in us can be smashed, like Solomon’s golden vessels. We can be captive to resentments and addiction to self-righteousness.

Jesus' parables invite us to stake our lives on the coming of his kingdom or face the consequences of being unprepared when the day of testing and destruction will surely come. The significance of the parable for us is that we should examine ways to build our spiritual home on solid ground.

Doing the will of the Father means works of charity, of patience, of disinterested service. Real expressions of our faith demand that we give of ourselves. Real faith doesn't leave us feeling smug. Witnessing to our faith through our works is crucial. Faith in Christ means daily conversion, changing our lives in conformity to his will. Remember, Jesus said: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven[3]".

Christ is the only rock that can save us. He can keep us from falsehood and spiritual disaster. A faith built only on feeling is weak and will soon collapse. But a faith fed with study, prayer and the sacraments and strengthened with obedience and good works will weather the storm. If we make the Lord Jesus and his word the rock and foundation of our lives, then nothing can shake us nor keep us from God's presence and protection.

Today and every day, make Jesus and his word the one sure foundation of your life.

[1] 1 Cor 3:19

[2] Matthew 7:16

[3] (Matthew 7:21)