John the Baptizer encouraged the crowds, “Bear fruits worthy of repentance.” This admonition concludes our “Advent Journey to Joy.” Our Advent confession of sin leads us to the joyful prospect of bearing fruit befitting our new life in Christ. We confess that Jesus came down from heaven “?for us and for our salvation.” But the “us” and “our” mean everybody. God’s game plan: that the fruit we produce will assist everyone in every aspect of their lives.
St. Paul describes the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) using nine words, the first summarizes them all: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. What joy we discover in living out this fruit for the well-being of others. While it’s not easy, the success isn’t up to us. It’s the gift of the Spirit. Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing.” He’s really saying, “With me you can do all I enable you to do as you bear much fruit!” We have to keep working at it.
A 1959 Reader’s Digest reported that the world’s premier cellist, Pablo Casals, age 83, when asked why he practiced four or five hours daily, responded: “Because I think I am making progress.”
The fruit of the Spirit changes us so we can impact the lives of those around us.
Enable me, Lord, to bear much fruit. Amen. — PH