Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
As I reflect on today’s readings, the word that comes to mind is authenticity. We are called to be truly authentic to ourselves and to those around us. What is our true authentic self? It is that we are made in the image and likeness of God; that we are made in Love and to be Love to all around us. Coming to this authentic self is a journey, and we often don’t want to embrace the struggle of the journey. We often try to hide our inner struggles from the world and even from ourselves.
We are like an apple tree before it buds and produces fruit. You may not know what type of tree it is, but once it buds and produces its fruit, you know it is an apple tree. We are known for the fruit we produce, and we can only hide this fruit for so long. If we are seeking what is good, then we will produce good fruit. If we are seeking what is evil then we will produce rotten fruit. Our fruits do not only reveal to the world our authentic self, but more importantly, they are the litmus test by which we see if we are living in the Love that is our God. If our fruits are “rotten” then it is time to look deeply at ourselves and ask “what is it that I truly desire? Do I desire Christ?” If I do desire Christ then what will I do to make that desire manifest. Am I willing to do the hard work of fulfilling that desire? And how is it that we come to fulfill that desire, which is the Love of Christ? It is by clothing ourselves in the incorruptibility and immortality of Christ through the Grace we received in the Holy Spirit. We must come to Christ in prayer, fasting, and charity toward others. If we do this then the struggle of this current life will no longer be something to fear but something to embrace. For through the grace of our Cross we will come to Say, “Death is swallowed up in Victory! Where, O death, is you victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
Reflection by Br. Placid Dale, OSB