Cycle C Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The first reading from Sirach provides us with a follow-up to last week’s readings. How do we respond in justice and love to those around us, even when we are mistreated? We have all heard, “by the fruit you shall know the tree”. Here we hear Sirach providing the same wisdom. How many in our world today look to the rich and powerful for guidance. Sirach says to more carefully look at their lives and ponder how they will stand before God. Not that it is our responsibility to judge them, but to place credence in what they say could also be a form of judgment where we figure, they are wealthy so they must be right. It could be they are right on the way to hell. Judgment is judgment in both directions.
This is taken up by Paul’s letter regarding corruptible and incorruptible. All the things of this world are designed to pass away. To the world death is the ultimate destruction, yet for those of us with faith it is just the transition point. We are called then, when things may not seem o be going well in the eyes of the world to “be film, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
In a sense, Jesus picks this up referring to those enamored with this world and its riches, as being blind. How can such a person lead us to the greater good? Like Sirach, Jesus refers to the fruit of the tree and how good trees produce good fruit. When we look at things in our lives, do we see long term good or short term good? Remember some trees take many years for the fruit to be discernable. We must not be quick to judge until the tree is mature. Then we can more clearly see which people we should be paying attention to and following.

Author: yuengerwv

Retired Catholic Priest

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