The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

5th Week of Easter

Date: 
Fri, 05/19/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

In a literal sense, ‘to bear fruit’ means for a plant to produce food,
something that satisfies hunger and sustains life.
In a figurative sense ‘to bear fruit’ (as it is used in the Scriptures)
refers to the good works of the righteous.
The word of truth, and the presence of the Holy Spirit, brings forth fruit
that promotes and sustains the Christian spiritual life in the world.
 
12 fruits of the Holy Spirit are currently recognized by the Church.
12 Christ-like qualities manifest themselves in the life of believers,
in the life of those who receive the outpouring of the Spirit:
charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, perseverance,
temperance, faith, modesty, self-restraint, chastity.
 
The inner life of the Christian is made known to the world
through words, actions, behavior, pursuits, responses, desires, expectations, interests.
The common sense saying is “you shall know a tree by its fruit.”
 
There is also reference in the NT to the barren tree, the fruitless tree.
It is to be cut down and thrown into the fire.
 
In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, Paul issues a warning against teaching false doctrine.
People in the community are engaging in fruitless discussion,
speculation that has nothing to do with God’s plan or the life of faith.
Empty prattle, meaningless talk.
 
In today’s gospel Jesus instructs his disciples regarding their relationships with one another.
Believers, members of the Christian community are to treat one another
as if they were interacting with Jesus himself.
They are to do for one another what Jesus did for each of them:
he sacrificed his life on the cross.
He literally gave his life so that others would not die but might live.
 
Though Jesus calls his disciples friends, and in other places he calls them brothers,
how the relationship is named isn’t as important as to how the relationship is lived.
Jesus could have called his disciples “the chosen”.
The central dynamic of interaction between believers is to be sacrificial love.
Of all the ways human beings can interact with one another,
this dynamic of sacrificial love bears the most Christian fruit.
 
This love expresses itself in a willingness to die to self-glory, self-promotion, popularity,
worldly reputation, privilege, right, prerogative, ownership, public recognition, domination,
self-interests, honorary position and standing, self-sufficiency, autonomy, self-righteousness,
to being the center of attention, for the sake of the salvation of the other.
This love expresses itself in a willingness to risk the relationship itself
by confronting injustice, correcting error, opposing deception, protecting the weak,
repudiating sin in all its forms…..for the sake of the salvation of the other.
 
The fruit of sacrificial love is not always sweet to the taste
but it is always substantial with regards to promoting and sustaining an authentic Christian life
and authentic Christian relationships.
 
Today’ prayer:  “O Lord, Your love for this world is beyond human comprehension.  We get a glimpse of this love through the sacrifice of Jesus Your Son on the cross.  Since we can only give to others what we ourselves know, help us to know Your love.  As we are sustained in Your love, may others be sustained unto eternal life in and by our love.  Amen!”