The fruit of righteousness comes through Jesus Christ for the praise and glory of God. And those who remain in Jesus and he in them bear much fruit.
God expects righteousness from his people. In fact, God’s people prove themselves before him through the fruit of righteousness that they bear. Bearing such fruit, they are the glory of Israel and the light of the nations also.
But if they bear fruit of wickedness, God will leave them, then, in their stubbornness of heart. Besides, he will surely make those who are his cherished plant answer to him for their unjust deeds. Their malice will recoil on themselves and their violence will fall on their own heads also. And, of course, God will take their chosenness away from them and will give it to others who will produce the fruit of righteousness.
Without bearing the fruit of righteousness, “the new people of God” will likewise be rejected.
We Christians call ourselves “the new vineyard” that God cherishes. It goes without saying that such name comes with responsibility. God expects us, yes, to be fruitful.
Righteousness demands that we welcome the excluded, and that we show mercy to the poor and solidarity with those who suffer. And, in particular, we who claim to be Vincentians should examine ourselves. Are we truly faithful to the Vincentian charism? In trying to embody it, are we zealous or rather lukewarm? Tepidity makes for unfruitfulness.
And we must take seriously St. Vincent de Paul’s warning (Abelly II:235):
We must fear … that God may take this harvest from us, for he gives his graces to others if we fail to use them as we ought.
Lord Jesus, through your obedience unto death, through your sacrifice, make us bear fruit of righteousness. And grant that we think about, and put into practice moreover, whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent and praiseworthy.
8 October 2017
27th Sunday in O.T. (A)
Is 5, 1-7; Phil 4, 6-9; Mt 21, 33-43