Produce Good Fruit


(Violet) Cycle A/Year I (December 4, 2016)
Is 11:1-10/Rm 15:4-9/Mt 3:1-12

In his biblical commentary, Mark Link, a Jesuit exegete, told about Mark Twain who wrote a story called “The Terrible Catastrophe.” It concerns about a group of people who get trapped in a tragic situation. They are doomed to die. They have no way of escape. They are indeed on the verge of a terrible catastrophe. Mark Twain did not want the story to end unhappily. But he did not see how he could save the people. So, he concluded his story with these two sentences: “I have these characters in such a fix that I cannot get them out of it. Anyone who thinks he can is welcome to try.”

More than two thousand years ago, the world was in a similar situation. Sin had entered the world and was spreading like wildfire. The human race was trapped. There was no way it could save itself. But God saw the tragic situation. He did not want the story of human race to end sadly. So He sent His only begotten Son to save the world. God incardinated and became man in Jesus Christ. He carried the cross for us and died for us to grant us new life.

Advent season is the period of preparation for the commemoration of that glorious event when God intervened in the human history in an extraordinary way, by becoming like us. Christmas day is the celebration of that day when God was born as a human being. All these great mystery and divine sacrifice were done to save the human race which was at the threshold of a terrible catastrophe.

On Christmas day, Jesus Christ was born in a manger. This coming Christmas day, Jesus will be born not anymore in a manger but rather in the heart of each of us. To become worthy of his birth in our lives this Christmas, we need to repent of our sinfulness and to live the life worthy of being followers of Jesus and children of God. John the Baptist is telling us in the Gospel to “produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance” (Mt 3:8). If we are really repentant, then we must demonstrate it in our deeds and not simply in our words. Our deeds must be worthy to be offer to the Lord in order to glorify God in our lives. These deeds must be deeds in accordance with the teachings of Jesus: deeds of love, humility, understanding, forgiveness and generosity.

God has been generous to us by sending us His Son to save us from eternal damnation. He has been generous to us by giving us a lot of blessings, the things that we have and enjoy at this very moment. As a sign of gratitude, we too must be generous to Him by spending more time in prayer and in charitable activities especially for the poor. God is close to the poor because He identified Himself to the poor by living here on earth as a poor man and by saying that whatever we do to the least, we do it to Him.

As a response to the call of John the Baptist to produce good fruit, let us ask the help of the Blessed Mother Mary that from now on we may be like her always ready to sacrifice our plans for the plan of God and to prioritize the will of God over our will. Indeed, only Christian deeds will make us be like Jesus and only when we are like Jesus, a child of God, can we be worthy to welcome Him in our lives on Christmas and onwards.