Tuesday, May 25, 2010
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37
There is a fruit and vegetable market we used to frequent when we lived in North Jersey. Right off of the Garden State Parkway, Carrado's had fruits and vegetables of every sort, some of which I had never seen before and had to learn how to use. The place was overflowing with ripe, inexpensive fruit and people of every nationality and culture pressing in to purchase. It is a cacophony of sounds and traffic jam of shopping carts. One has to be careful not to buy more than you can use, since most of the fruit and veggies are very ripe and need to be used immediately. Ripe fruit is a wonderful thing and spoiled, rotten fruit is a disaster and a waste. Even among abundance, one must choose carefully.
Jesus was among those who had the capacity to produce good fruit - the compassion and love for others. And he understood how tempting it is for us humans to use the gifts we have been given for our own gain and for others' destruction. Even good fruit can go bad, and we all have a choice to make daily.
Today, I want to choose to use the gifts I have been given for the good of others. May we all this day be willing to produce good fruit in gratefulness to God's abundance in our lives. "May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord my strength and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14