What Fruit Do You Bear?
by Fr. Jack McArdle with Aneel Aranha
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (Mt 7:19 NIV)
An old missioner in Africa had reached the end of his days, and he was recalled to Ireland, to retire in a purpose-built retirement home. He had been an extraordinary man of God, and of common-sense goodness. He became totally involved with the people. He helped them with their crops, with their animals, and in building their make-shift houses. His life was his greatest sermon, and, when he did preach, he did so in their language, and he spoke about things that were part of their everyday lives and experiences.
He was being replaced by a newly ordained priest, fresh from a brilliant academic preparation in Rome, and someone who was going places in the institutional Church. The old man was asked to remain on for a while to act as interpreter; and, as the young man was so intelligent, this would be for a very limited period of time. The first Sunday, the young man got up to speak. His opening sentence was "God is infinite in his nature, and transcendental in his essence".
He paused for a moment to allow for a translation. The old man was seen to have a look of puzzlement on his face, as yanked up the twine holding up his trousers, scratched his head, thought for a while, and then spoke: "He said that he's awful glad to be with you"!
Jesus said that just as we can recognize a good tree by its fruits, so can we recognize those who speak in His name. Do you bear good fruits or bad?
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