Have you ever stopped to purchase a beautiful piece of fruit, one that looks plump and ripe, the colour is perfect, the skin is perfect? Have you ever bought that fruit, treasured it, thought about the perfect moment to indulge? Have you had a smile on your face just considering the amazing taste you will experience? And then you bite, it’s juicy and full?and it’s bitter. Somehow the packaging was deceiving, the promise of goodness not fulfilled. Your heart just sinks. Not only did you waste your time and money, but also the thoughts and expectations which brought you joy and the anticipation of pleasure.
Actions can be like that. Even those that are well intentioned can be empty and bitter, resulting in more harm than good. This text reminds us that anything not done with the full grace of God, anyone or anything not rooted in faith, can bear bad fruit. Sometimes we read this passage and say, “Oh, that’s not me.” We have to be careful that even the faithful can be misguided if our roots are not in God.
Lord of goodness, strengthen and guide us for the tasks you ordain for us. Show us what you desire of us, guide us in our intentions so that our work and action bear good fruit, not bad or bitter fruit. Amen. — KNM