Updated: Jun 20, 2020
“Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.” (Matthew 7:17-20)
by Helen Young
A reflection to think about, ponder, pray with, meditate on….
What if…. by the grace of God, over the last few months, in response to the pandemic and the recent injustice, instead of responding with fear each one of us responded with trust in Divine Providence?
Instead of responding with anxiety we respond with interior peace?
Instead of responding with anger, we respond with charity?
Instead of responding with hate we respond with love?
Instead of despair we respond with hope?
Instead of meanness, generosity
Instead of violence, gentleness
Instead of apathy, faithfulness
Instead of impatience, patience
Instead of losing our self-control we responded with self-control and mastery of our passions?
What if, our relationship with Jesus was so deep, so personal that every single situation in our lives was an opportunity to share the good news of the Gospel?
What if we live every single day as if it is our last day here on Earth?
What if we love so radically and so totally that love changes hearts and minds?
What if we allowed the Words of Jesus to turn into interior conversion?
What if God’s grace fills us to the brim and we become the Saints we are called to be?
What if we live our lives as the apostles did, as those first called to follow Jesus did?
With a singular purpose
With a singular mission
With a singular love
With a singular hope
With a singular faith
What if we say Yes to God as Mary did, with our entire souls?
What if we follow Jesus completely, as Simon, James and John did, and start new lives as fishers of men?
What if we receive the gift of being healed by Jesus as Mary Magdalene did - physical emotional and spiritual healing?
What if we become little children and listen to and learn from Jesus, with pure hearts and open minds?
What if we let go of our attachment to money and power as Matthew the tax collector did, and follow Jesus?
What if we become Jesus’ guests at the wedding feast and see miracles in our lives?
What if we hear Jesus speak the truth to us about sin in our lives like the woman at the well, and become the people God created us to be, the best versions of ourselves?
What happens is, through God’s grace, the world is changed!
Everything begins with God, He changes the world by winning hearts, and through grace we are filled with radical love, compassion, empathy, listening ears and can speak the Truth with love.
But first we ourselves must see the work of God in our lives and listen for His voice in prayer. Once we are aware of the tremendous grace being poured out all time from Our Loving Father, we can live in freedom in his Kingdom. Not half in this world and half in Jesus’ world, but all the way in Jesus’ world.
Once Jesus’ heart and our hearts are beating in unison and He leads us to the Father then in the Holy Spirit we become little Christs in the world. Twelve disciples and Jesus’ mother Mary and a small group of followers spread Jesus’ message and teachings throughout the world in a single generation. Radical love creates freedom, and our souls are created for and long for this love and freedom, it will spread exponentially if it’s genuine and authentic. Genuine and authentic love creates freedom.
Let’s all sit down with this list of the ‘What If’ questions above and these questions below, in prayer and ask ourselves:
- “How all in am I?” Has my relationship with Jesus converted my soul and my life?
- Have I left destructive sin patterns behind because of Jesus love?
- Am I still attached to the world and material possessions?
- Have I used my intellect and will to grow in knowledge and understanding of the Church, the Bride of Christ?
- Do I have a daily prayer routine where my relationship with the Trinity grows so that the fire of Christ’s love can be seen by others?
- Do I have a regular sacramental life where sanctifying grace changes my soul and opens me more to the love of my Heavenly Father?
- Am I willing to ask God for the grace to master my passions and live a disciplined, mortified life that enters into the Suffering of Our Savior and participates with Him in the redemption of the world?
If the answer to any of these last questions is no, don’t worry. Meet with a priest, or a spiritual director, or spiritual friend and make a plan to change and amend your life. We all struggle with daily conversion. It’s a daily effort, but we can do this one day at a time by the grace of God. The Saints did it, and we are called to it!
It’s never too late. Our God’s mercy and compassion are as endless as His love and we can always start anew. Start by asking God to help you root out the sin, which directly blocks relationship with Him and then put the other above things in place and you will be a new person in Christ. God promises this to us, and He is a faithful, loving Father who will never desert his children. Abide with Him and the rest will fall into place.
We are all meant to live this way, but the enemy, the father of lies, tells us that we are not worthy, that we are too bad, that no one can love us, that we will fail, that we cannot be saints. Lies, lies and more lies.
Stop believing the lies and through faith believe that Jesus is always present to us.
He is waiting for you. Run to Him. Now is the time.
‘Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. ‘ John 15:4
I suggest watching the free series called The Chosen on your phone or tablet or on Youtube. It’s a game changer. Hint – it’s about Jesus
Also, to read more about the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit and the theological and cardinal virtues go here: